It’s the last days of November but still I can hear and see bees busily working on the flowering trees on the plot next to where my car is parked. I have completely given up on remembering what they are called but if the weather is good and the bees can do their job, these flowers turn into yellowy orange fruits with big, black kernels. They are quite delicious and I often sneak over the low wall and gorge on them when they are ripe, I am the only one around here who eats them it seems but that leaves them all for me.


On my walks around here I have found a small conglomerate of beehives on a olive field not far from here; when we moved here, my nearest neighbour used to have a couple of hives on the hillside in front of my kitchen but he gave up when they got ill and all died. And we used to get bee swarms on the run as well, once they even decided to enter our house do but fortunately I saw them in time and only about a hundred of them entered. And quickly exited when I angrily chased them out through the door. But in recent years, the Italian bee population have been hit hard by illnesses so it feels good to see them buzzing and to find these new beehives. On one side they just look like boxes but the sunny side, they have been marked, as you can see on, with bright colourful symbols to help the bees to find their way back to their own queen.

Small Ricotta Cakes Drenched In Honey and Hibiscus Syrup

All this honey making inspired me to make these honey drenched cakes, to add a bit of colour I decided to make a honey and hibiscus syrup. I couldn’t resist the temptation to serve them with whipped cream and I suggest you to that too because it was nice!

Small Ricotta Cakes Drenched In Honey and Hibiscus Syrup

10-12 small

3 eggs
300 g/7 oz sugar
100 g/3,5 oz unsalted butter, melted
125 g/4,4 oz fresh ricotta
150 g/5,3 oz pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder

1000 ml/ 4,2 cups red hibiscus tea
8 large tblsp honey
3-4 tblsp rum, optional

– To make the syrup, mix all ingredients in a pan and simmer until reduced to half, more or less. The liquid has to be a bit syrupy but remember that it thickens when it cools down.
– Whisk egg and sugar fluffy.
– Press the ricotta through a sieve and add it to the batter, add the melted butter and mix it carefully.
– Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and stir well.
– Spoon batter into cupcake forms or a muffin pan and bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C/390°F) for 8-10 minutes.
– Prick the cakes with a thin bamboo skewer or a spaghetti and then spoon the syrup over them to drench them as best it can. For the best result, use hot syrup and it is a good idea to keep the cakes in their forms so that they can take a ‘bath’ in the excess syrup.
– Leave to absorb and cool down and then serve in bowls with the remaining syrup and whipped fresh cream.

Small Ricotta Cakes Drenched In Honey and Hibiscus Syrup

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