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Recipe: Ben Tish’s Sweet Ricotta Torta

Ben Tish Sicilia Peter Moffat

Recipe: Ben Tish’s Sweet Ricotta Torta

Ben Tish shares his recipe for a rich and indulgent ricotta cake.

Ben Tish of modern Sicilian-inspired restaurant, Norma has penned his cookbook, Sicilia: A Love Letter to The Food of Sicily and whether you’re dining in his restaurant or giving one of his recipes a go, he’ll whisk your taste buds away to the Mediterranean. And so, cue his ricotta cake with an orange-infused short pastry, a sweet tarte filling, and topped with bitter chocolate for contrast. In true Sicilian style, expect the perfect balance of taste, indulgence, glamour and rusticness.

By Felicity Carter

Recipe: Sweet Ricotta Torta with Dark Chocolate and Orange Zest

Serves 8–10


For the pasta frolla

  • 100g unsalted butter, chopped zest of 1 orange
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 225g plain  our
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons iced water

For the filling

  • 450g fresh ricotta cheese 100g cream cheese, at room
  • temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 110g caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 100g 70% dark chocolate icing sugar for dusting 


To make the pastry, beat the butter, half the orange zest and the sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and combined. Beat in the egg. Fold in the flour, baking powder, salt and iced water to make a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas Mark 7.

Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking parchment to about 3mm thickness. Use to line the bottom and side of a 22cm loose-bottomed, fluted tart tin, trimming o  any excess. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Line the pastry case with baking parchment and weigh down with baking beans (or rice). Set the tin on a baking tray and blind bake the pastry case for 20 minutes or until the edges are light golden. Remove the beans and paper, then bake for a further 10 minutes or until the base is golden. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/150°C fan/Gas Mark 3/4.

To make the filling, beat the ricotta with the cream cheese using an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract, remaining orange zest, the caster sugar and eggs. Pour into the tart case. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the  filling is set but with a gentle wobble in the centre.

Cool to room temperature, then chill for 2 hours. Grate over the chocolate with a microplane or grater and dust with icing sugar before serving.

See more recipes in Sicilia by Ben Tish (Bloomsbury Publishing, £26). Photography by Kris Kirkham.


Like this? Check out more of our delicious recipes here

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