A friend mentioned how his building is emptying out now, as people leave for their other houses by the sea or in the mountains. Not that the neighbours there talk much, he said; only the maids and nannies chat much. Well, he does live in a much posher area in Rome than we do; our scala (stairwell) certainly has no maids or nannies, and there is no exodus here yet. The tabacchi has closed for the month, but most shops are still open. It will get quiet around Ferragosta (15 August), but it is still lively here. Across the street, I can look into a kitchen where the extended family is having dinner, with the grandfather in his undershirt, as usual. It is a muggy evening, but there is laundry out all over, dinner being made, and windows opening to catch some evening air. Ah, summer….. And a simple cherry cake.
Cherry ricotta cake (makes two small loaves)
200 g sugar
250 g ricotta
90 g softened butter
240 g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
300-350 g cherries
Heat the oven to 180C. Line two small loaf tins with baking paper. Wash, stone and halve the cherries. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar, then add ricotta and softened butter. Add dry ingredients, and stir together. Scoop a third of the batter in (it will be thick), and layer half the halved cherries in. Scoop in another third of the batter, and top with the remaining cherries, before finishing with the last third of batter. No need to measure this, just approximate it. Bake at 180C for 55-60 minutes, until it is golden on top and looks done. Cool before slicing.
Notes: you could easily make this in a bigger round tin, or one big loaf tin: just adjust baking times. Nice flavour from the the cherries, which all migrated to one layer in the cake. So you could probably put it all in together and still have a nice result.