Last week an old friend of mine who lives in the USA moved to a new house.
She asked me to send her a selection of my Spring recipes to celebrate with the new neighbors, which I did.
One of the recipes is the one you find hereunder.
Sheila was very excited about moving in a better home and she sent me few photos of the new house.
I decided that she needed an extra hint of color in that new house, so I surfed the internet and I found BloomNation, an on line flower delivery platform very easy to use, even for me in Italy. It was a great deal: in very short time I had the flowers delivered the day of the party and my friend was so happy!
Ricotta is made with the protein of the milk left after making cheese.
If you use traditional cow ricotta (such as the one you see hereunder) the quantity of fats is very low (about 8%) and the dessert will be very light. The original recipe requires sheep ricotta, but if you cannot find it cow's will be all right. Also, if you cannot find the artisan fresh ricotta, you can buy it in the containers. It will be a little more watery, drain it well in a strainer for half an hour before using it.
As usual I made portions because I freeze it (keeps well for a couple of months or so), but you can use a large bowl if you like. Freezing makes keeps better the shape of the dessert.
Ingredients for 6 small cups
500 grs / a little more than 1 lb ricotta cheese (sheep or cow)
3 spoons of sugar
approx 80 grs/ 2.8 ounces nougat cut into pieces (above all the almonds inside)
50 grs / 1 3/4 ounces candied peel of citrus (I prefer citron)
50 gr./1 and 3/4 black chocolate chunks
6-10 edible flowers
1) Put ricotta in a bowl with the sugar and the nougat. Stir well with a fork and cover it with a lid or cling film. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or until sugar and nougat melt.
2) In the meantime wash and dry (gently) the flowers and line the little bowls you are going to use with abundant cling film.
You will use the exceeding film to close the bowl once full. If you have silicone moulds, you do no need to line them.
Put the flowers on the bottom of your containers upside-down.
3) Add the candied peel and the chocolate to the ricotta cream. Stir well.
4) With a spoon fill up the mould you have prepared, pressing a bit to compact the cream.
5) Close them with the cling film and freeze them for few hours (up to max 3 months).
6) Approx. 20 minutes before serving, gently pull the cling film to allow the dessert go out from the moulds, put on your dishes and serve when soft. They will keep their shape, so the time does not really matters. They must have the time to soften, though, which depends from 2 factors (temperature of the kitchen and size of the dessert!)
To be suitable for eating, the flowers must be organic, grown far away from the road, and of course you have to wash them well to remove any soil and dust residue.
I this case I used pansies and violets (the only edible flowers I had available) but rose petals and nasturtium will be great as well.Bite size are also very nice: these are made with silicone moulds for chocolate and are as big as a Violet! A fantastic snack when you feel like eating something sweet! Let it melt just a minute or two.