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I had zero intention of sharing today’s recipe. It was one of those throw-together things where I just put in a bit of this and a bit of that, and I didn’t expect much beyond a loaf cake I could slice and put in my son’s lunch the next morning. I also think maybe my obsession with putting ricotta cheese in cakes is getting out of hand, and perhaps not everyone wants a third steam oven recipe for cake with ricotta.
Except, well, I shared a photo of the finished cake in my Combi Steam Cooking Facebook group (come join us if you haven’t already! Just jump on the mailing list and I’ll send you a link to the group straightaway), saying how much we’d enjoyed it, and so many of you asked for the recipe! I aim to please, so in typical-for-me late fashion, I’ve made it again and written it up for you. You’d think by now that I’d have learnt to take notes on every new dish, but I’m not the quickest study. It’s much more my style to write detailed notes about five dishes which end up being unworthy of your attention, then skip over the one (like today’s) which turns out to be a runaway success.
Like my favourite lemon ricotta cake, this one is dense and damp in texture. It’s easier to make though, as there’s no creaming involved. Just mix up all the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ones in another, then stir it together.
The relative heaviness of this batter bakes up more evenly than lighter cakes in combi steam, especially in a loaf tin where volcanic cracking on top a common problem. The ricotta lends a softness but keeps the whole thing sturdy enough to slice easily, so it’s a great picnic or lunchbox cake. It can also be frozen in individually-wrapped slices, if you can make it last long enough for that. No such luck at our place.
The day I first baked this we ate it as a dessert to the roast chicken I shared last week, and there were barely a couple of slices left over for my 5 year-old’s lunches the next couple of days. It’s one of those cakes I’ll turn to again and again, and I hope you will too.
Happy steam oven cooking, see you here again soon.
Recipe: Steam Oven Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Cake
Makes 1 x 22x12cm (8.5x4.5 inch) loaf cake, enough for 8 generous slices
You can definitely bake this in a round pan if you prefer. I’d use one around 20cm/8in in diameter. I’m not sure exactly how long it would need in the oven, but would think the time should be similar or a touch less than the loaf version. I’d love to know if you try this, please leave a comment below letting me know how long it took to bake!
I love ricotta in this cake, but if it’s hard to get where you are, unsweetened thick Greek yoghurt is an acceptable substitute. Instead of the ricotta and milk, use 1 1/3 cups yoghurt.
Finally, though I struggle to think of many flavour combinations which beat raspberries and very nice chocolate, you could easily switch up the flavours here. Diced pears in place of the raspberries would be nice, or you could swap out the raspberries and chocolate for chopped dates and a handful of candied ginger.
150g (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
200g (7oz, about 1 cup) whole milk ricotta cheese
80ml (1/3 cup) whole milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
150g (3/4 cup) caster/superfine sugar
200g plain/all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
120g (just over 4oz) semisweet chocolate, chopped into roughly pea-sized chunks (I use my favourite Callebaut 54% dark chocolate here. It comes in enormous blocks but I just buy it a couple of times a year and keep it well-wrapped in a dark place, hacking off pieces as I need them for recipes)
100g (3.5 oz, a scant cup) frozen raspberries (don’t bother thawing)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F, combination steam setting. If your oven has variable steam settings, choose 30% (if not, doesn’t matter! Just choose combi steam and let the oven figure out the humidity). Grease and line a 22x12cm (8.5 x 4.5 inch) loaf pan (you can use baking paper or one of these fantastic pre-cut and folded liners, which I have in a few shapes and sizes now).
2. Put the melted butter, eggs, ricotta, milk and vanilla into a bowl and mix well to combine and break up the ricotta.
3. Put the sugar, flour and baking powder in another bowl and give it a quick whisk to combine. Pour in the wet mix and stir until it’s almost smooth. Gently fold through the chocolate and raspberries, taking care not to overmix.
4. Pour the batter into your lined pan and smooth the top a little. Bake until it’s golden and a skewer tests clean in the centre of the loaf, about 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely before slicing.
The cake will keep, covered, for a couple of days, or can be frozen in individually wrapped slices for up to two months.
Would you like more Steam and Bake recipes and steam oven inspiration? Join the mailing list – there’s no spam, just an email every now and then to tell you the latest. When you sign up, you’ll get an invite to the exclusive subscribers-only Combi Steam Cooking Facebook group. It’s a friendly, helpful space to learn and share with one another, and I’m always in there answering questions and sharing tips.
And if you’re after more delicious combi steam loaf cake recipes, the Cakes and Baking Index page has plenty. Try my first ever recipe from this site (and still a firm favourite), my Lemon Ricotta Cake, or if you want something low-guilt, this refined sugar free Banana Bread is great toasted for breakfast. At the other end of the spectrum, Four Ingredient Chocolate Truffle Cake is easy and very indulgent.