Ricotta has got to be one of the most versatile cheese out there. There are tons of ways to use it for both savory and sweets, and it does not even take much. One of the simplest snack I had using ricotta was just a piece of toast, ricotta on top and drizzle of honey. Delicious! My husband said when they were kids back in New York, that was the only thing his mother would give him for sweets – and when I finally tried it, I went ‘What’s not to like?!’.
For ‘Coffee Ricotta with Berry Compote’, I decided to mix ricotta with one of my favorite ‘after-meal’ treat – coffee. It’s not ice cream since it will definitely not freeze. I guess it’s more similar to sundae in consistency, or mousse perhaps? Regardless, I add a bit of cream in it, and some liquor. I have tried dark rum, brandy, Amaretto and Cointreau with it (NOT at the same time!) – and I must say for the berry compote, I think Amaretto fits perfectly. Cointreau or any other orange based liquor might be better if I am using some ‘orangey’ syrup. (I might give that a try one of these days. 🙂 )
When you are trying this recipe, go easy on the amount of coffee and do NOT put the whole amount at once. The amount that I included in this recipe is based on a certain brand of roasted ground coffee for espresso that I am using, and it is STRONG. You might be using a different brand, so do not be wary of adding more (or LESS), depending on your taste. Bottom line, for each spoonful of ‘Coffee Ricotta with Berry Compote’, there should be a balance of three tastes: creamy, sweet and slightly bitter.
You can serve this as dessert or snack, the whole year round. The trick is to keep using the basic recipe for the coffee ricotta and just change the compote or whatever syrup (or nuts, or dried fruit, etc.) that you put on it to fit the season. Sounds good, right?
Oh! ALWAYS serve it chilled!
- 250 grams ricotta, drained
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp ground coffee
- 4 tbsp sugar (divided into 2 & and 2 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp amaretto
- 2 1/2 cups mixed berries
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
Combine ricotta and cream in a bowl. Mix thoroughly until smooth.
Add ground coffee, 2 tbsp sugar and amaretto. Mix to combine. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill.
To make the compote: In a small saucepan, combine mixed berries, lemon juice and 2 tbsp of sugar. Bring to a boil, mix and simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has slightly thickened. Stir the sauce often during this time to make sure that nothing sticks. I normally just leave mine to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Set compote aside to cool.
To serve: Take the coffee ricotta from the refrigerator and spoon some in a dessert glass. Top with berry compote and a piece of fresh berry (if desired). Enjoy!