Keto Hazelnut, Pear & Ricotta Celebration Cake. 3.5g net carbs. Italian-style indulgence that’s perfect for all special occasions.
This creamy, nutty, but delicate cake with rum-infused pears is my low-carb adaptation of an old but timeless recipe. If you have a birthday, anniversary, wedding party, Christmas or New Year event coming up, you’ve just found the perfect dessert.
You know Italian desserts are renowned for being some of the world’s finest. This gourmet creation totally lives up to those high expectations. Exploding with flavours, rich, yet pillowy-light. Ladies and gents, we’re talking fine, clean keto baking at its best.
Tips and Tricks for a FAIL-PROOF Keto Hazelnut, Pear & Ricotta Celebration Cake
This keto masterpiece essentially consists of a creamy centre sandwiched between two sponge layers.
Baking the sponge should be your first step. The batter mixture is dense because of the nuts, so it rises minimally. I find that baking just one sponge and then trying to slice it across to make two halves is quite a tricky undertaking. My preferred work-around is to bake separate sponges, using two springform tins. This way, there’s no potential disaster involved.
Conference pears are the lowest in carbs compared to other varieties. While the sponges cool, peel, core and chop the fruit. I find 3 medium size pears work out to be the correct net weight. If you keep an additional, spare pear with stalk attached, you can use it to slice it in the centre and create the decorative silhouette. But that’s optional. A simple, all-over dusting, would be absolutely fine.
Poach the pear chunks until soft and only a little liquid remains. Add the gelatine bloomed in rum at the end and leave it all to cool in the pan. You might find that the poaching liquid is solid by the time you need to incorporate the pears into the creamy mix. In that case, warm the pan up on very low heat, until the juices become viscous again. Don’t overdo it. The creamy ricotta mixture will curdle if you add a hot component to it.
When it comes to the ricotta, choose the freshest possible. Do make sure you drain it first, or your centre won’t be firm enough.
My final tip is to make Keto Hazelnut, Pear & Ricotta Celebration Cake one or two days ahead. Maximising chill time will ensure the right firmness and allow the flavours to infuse and intensify.
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- Yield: 16 slices
- Serving: 1/16th
- Calories: 280
- Fat: 26g
- Net Carbs: 3.5g
- Protein: 6g
- 4 large eggs
- 70g erythritol (U.S. option HERE)
- 1 tsp pure stevia powder (U.S. option HERE)
- 120g melted butter
- 25ml dark rum
- 20g fine coconut flour (U.S. option HERE)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150g ground hazelnuts (U.S. option HERE)
- 4 conference pears (300g net after peeling, topping, tailing and coring 3 pears - see 'Decoration' section below)
- 10g unsalted butter
- 150g powdered erythritol (U.S. option HERE)
- 2.5 tsp pure stevia powder
- 25ml dark rum
- 10g (2 tsp) gelatine powder (U.S. option HERE)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (U.S. option HERE)
- 500g ricotta
- 300ml whipping cream
- prepare your 23-24cm (8.5-9”) springform baking tins (U.S. option HERE) by smearing dots of butter on bottom and sides, then lining with non-stick parchment paper; pre-heat oven to 180°C static.
- separate eggs into large mixing bowls; whip whites to stiff peaks.
- in the other bowl, whisk yolks with sweeteners, add melted butter, then rum, coconut flour and sifted baking powder.
- incorporate ground hazelnuts, then gently fold in whipped egg whites.
- divide mixture equally between the two baking tins; bake on the same oven rack for 20-25 mins until golden brown.
- set aside to cool completely (in their tins) before preparing the filling.
- peel, top, tail and core the pears, then cut them into small chunks.
- place the pear chunks, butter, 25g powdered erythritol and ½ tsp stevia in a small frying pan and cook until softened, about 5-7 mins.
- add the gelatine powder to the rum, immediately stir it with a fork so lumps don’t form, then, once bloomed after a minute or so, spoon it into the hot pear mixture, bring it back to simmer and turn heat off after 2 minutes; stir in vanilla paste and leave aside to cool down.
- drain and discard any liquid from the ricotta, transfer it into a large mixing bowl and whisk in 125g powdered erythritol and 2 tsp pure stevia powder.
- whip cream until very stiff and add it to the softened ricotta, then finally fold in the barely-warm pear chunks.
- line the sides of one of the springform cake tins, and place one sponge upside-down into it.
- spoon in the entire filling and level it; place the other sponge on top.
- sprinkle icing sugar all over, or (optional) place a pear slice over the centre of the cake before dusting with icing sugar, then remove the slice and you’ll have created the perfect pear silhouette.
- for best result, refrigerate overnight and serve chilled.
This cake is very rich, so you’ll find 1/16th slice is enough for satiety. To cut identical slices, start by imagining a line (or lay a piece of string) across the middle - both horizontally and vertically (to visualise quarters); use the same method to slice each quarter in half, and then halve each half again.
You can cook the sponge in one springform tin and slice it horizontally to obtain the top and bottom halves you’ll need. However, this isn’t a sponge that rises, so you’d have to be really precise with your knife skills or you may end up with broken cake pieces - which would still be salvageable - just not so pretty or easy to work with.
The only way to ensure accurate measurement of ingredients is with Metric Kitchen Scales (U.S. option HERE).