Oven baked ricotta cheese with pistachios, chocolate and citrus fruits by Omar Allievi

Rating: 
Yield: 
4/6 servings
Ingredients: 

For chocolate wafers:
1 cup Flour
6 tablespoons Butter
1/8 cup Icing sugar
¼ cup Unsweetened cocoa
¼ cup Egg white
For citrus fruit jelly:
1 ½ cup Orange juice, filtered
¼ cup Water
¼ cup Sugar
½ ounce Gelatin
¼ ounce Agar agar
For baked ricotta cheese cube:
14 ounces Fresh ricotta cheese (preferably made from goat’s milk)
1/8 cup Icing sugar
1 ½ cup Natural Pistachio granules
3 ½ ounces Melted chocolate

Instructions: 

For chocolate wafers: Soften butter and put all ingredients into a food processor. Blend into a smooth mixture. On a sheet of oven paper, or better still a silicone mat, form mixture into 1 ½” squares about ¼” thick. Bake in a 325° F oven for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool and keep in a dry, cool place.
For citrus fruit jelly: Soften gelatin in cold water and squeeze oranges. Heat water in a small pan with sugar and add previously filtered orange juice. Add squeezed gelatin and agar agar. Mix vigorously, bring to boil and remove from heat after a minute.
Pour liquid into a low rectangular mould to create a layer about ¼” thick and set aside to cool. Cut jelly to same size as ricotta cheese cubes.
For baked ricotta cheese cube: Mix sugar with ricotta cheese and place in silicone plum cake mould. Bake for two hours, the first at a maximum temperature of 250°F and the second at 300°F. The result should be a sort of “very dry, golden brown plum cake”. Let cool and cut into 1 ¼” cubes. To assemble dish: coat two opposite sides of ricotta cube with pistachio granules, place on serving plate and arrange orange gelatin square on top. Lean chocolate wafers against the two free sides and decorate with a couple of mint leaves and a drizzle of melted chocolate.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!