Love cake

Well!  It seems like I’m on a Mario Batali’s show kick!  Actually I wasn’t, since all of the two previous recipes, and this one, that I am writing about were all in that one show.  Ha ha…  I know, leave it to me to try all of the recipes shown in this particular episode.  I can’t help it, I don’t know anything about moderation.  It is some kind of sickness.  Ask my Hubby if you don’t believe me.

Anyway, I just saw Mario visiting this grandma and she was making this Love Cake on Food Network.  It looked so delicious, yet so easy.  So how can I refuse this protestation inside my belly?  So Hubby searched and emailed the recipe to me, and silly me, for trusting Food Network with their editing expertise.  I said that since this was not the first time that they have written unedited recipes.  And by no means, it wasn’t the chef’s error either.  I watched the shows, so I knew what was supposed to happen.  So I edited the recipe below to reflect the correct steps.

Fudge marble cake mix (or I could have use regular vanilla cake mix), vegetable oil, water, sugar, eggs, ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and flour for dusting the pan.


First I cracked four eggs which have been warmed to room temperature.  If you forget to take them out early, just soak the eggs in a bowl of tap water, changing the water often.


Next I put the oil in the bowl.


Vanilla was next.




Finally, the cake mix.


And this was where the recipe said “including the fudge package.”  Let me repeat myself, silly me.  This was supposed to be a marbled cake, but now I had a chocolate cake.  Grr…. And this was where I went back to re-read the recipe and found their error.


I guess I could have tried to scoop up the “Fudge package”, but oh well, I just cranked away on the mixer until most of the ingredients were combined.


One thing I don’t like about cake mix is those little clumps.


Then into another bowl, I dumped the ricotta cheese.


Added the rest of the eggs…


Vanilla… one whole tablespoon worth…  🙂




Whipped them up like crazy to get them incorporated…


Like this.


Added the chocolate chips – I think next time I will dust the chips with flour to prevent them from sinking… this batch – they did.


I guess I should have had a clue, since there were only five chips showing here…


So I poured all of my “chocolate” batter, since there will be no marbling effect here.  Then I also poured the ricotta cheese batter into the pan…


I tried to cover all of the surface with this batter…


Smoothed it out…


Baked it… and the darndest thing happen!  The cake – which I was expecting to see a “cheesecake” consistency on top – became chocolate cake!!  I guess the cheese batter was a lot of heavier than the cake batter, so it sank to the bottom.


So while I let the cake cool completely, I got the topping ready.  Whip cream, milk, and chocolate instant pudding.


I poured the milk into a bowl…


Added the chocolate pudding…


Get the mixer cranking again…


And then scooped the whipped cream into the pudding bowl.


Folded the whip cream into the chocolate pudding.


This is how the cake looked like after it completely cooled.  It sank just a little bit, and I’m glad I did not try to make this cake in a regular 9 x 13 pan.  This cake required every square inch of the pan.


Then I just plopped the chocolate whipped topping on top of the cake…


And used a spatula to smooth it out…or, somewhat smooth…


And we had the cake after dinner…


The result?  The topping was very light, the cake was delicious, and the ricotta cheese batter was not smooth like cream cheese.  Instead it was a rough texture or more like a grainy texture.


I brought the leftovers to the office, and it was gone very quickly.  Overall, it was a light cake, although it looked heavy.  The next time I make it again, I would definitely be interested to see how it looks with the marbling effect.  Ciao!


Print recipe here.

Love Cake
Recipe adapted from Fannie di Giovanni
Show: Ciao America with Mario Batali on Food Network


For cake:

Vegetable spray, for greasing baking pan
All-purpose flour, for dusting baking pan
8 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups water
1 package fudge marble cake mix (or plain vanilla)
[1/2 cup cocoa powder – if using plain vanilla cake mix]
2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For frosting:
1 package instant chocolate pudding
1 1/4 cups cold whole milk
4 cups prepared whipped cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease the bottom and sides of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan [or the disposable half size aluminum steam table pan] with vegetable spray. Dust all over with flour, shaking out excess. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add 4 eggs, vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, water and cake mix. Using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, whisk until well combined, about 3 minutes.

Into another mixing bowl, add ricotta cheese, 4 eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar. Add chocolate chips. Whisk until well combined, about 2 minutes.

Pour 2/3 cup of the cake batter into the pan. Add the Fudge package or cocoa powder (if using Vanilla cake mix) to the remaining batter and pour over the batter in the pan.  Gently swirl in the cocoa batter creating a marble look. Pour the ricotta mixture over the batter and place the pan on middle rack in the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

Remove cake from oven and set aside to completely cool.

To make the frosting, in a large bowl, add package of chocolate pudding and cold milk. Using an electric mixer, whisk until thick and glossy, about 1 minute. Gently fold in prepared whipped cream until well combined.

When cake is completely cool, carefully transfer it to a decorative serving platter. Spread frosting evenly over the top of the cake and serve.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

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