Whenever someone mentions Moscato, I frown. I don’t even try to hide it anymore. Why? Because it’s been bastardized. What is actually a light, floral subtle wine has been served any and everywhere and with everything. Winemakers are adding tons of residual sugar, giving it a syrupy taste and really losing the beauty of the grape.
But, not all Moscato is bad. In fact, if you pick a good one and you pair it correctly, it can be a pleasant experience. It’s a dessert wine and works extremely well with summer desserts. Think berries and lemon. It doesn’t work with chocolate.
In my attempt to find a good Moscato, I came across Lodali’s 2019 Moscato d’Asti. I was specifically looking for something a little bubbly and this was it. Having never tried it before, I was just hoping for a good experience and that it would go well with the Lemon Ricotta Cake I was making.
It was PERFECT! This wine retails for less than $20 – somewhere in the range of $12-$16. It was effervescent without being too bubbly. Just enough to create some fizz in the glass. Lodali delivered on the florals typical of a Moscato, but also came with a slight citrus that cut through the sweetness. It played really well with the richness of the cake.
I almost never buy ricotta cheese, but I was making stuffed shells and had some cheese left. This recipe is so simple and doesn’t use a ton of special ingredients. It’s a great one to bring to any summer gathering.
Lemon Ricotta Cake
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 lb. fresh strawberries, diced or sliced
3 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together sugar, butter and lemon zest until pale and fluffy.
- Mix in eggs one at a time (mixture will appear lumpy), blend in vanilla.
- Add in half of the flour mixture and mix just until combined, add ricotta and mix just until combined.
- Add in last half of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Gently fold batter to ensure ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared springform pan and spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven until cake is set (a toothpick can come out moist but no batter), about 45 – 50 minutes.
- Let cake cool 10 minutes then run a knife around edge to loosen any edges that may have stuck slightly, remove springform ring and continue to let cool.
- Once cool, slice and serve with macerated strawberries and whipped cream.