Recipe: Cocoa Ricotta Cheese Dessert

Ricotta Cheese - Original image by Paola Sersante

Since my family and I have stopped eating flour, I needed something special to make for my husband’s birthday.

During the summer, we went to a reunion and stayed at a Bed & Breakfast where Marin, one of the innkeepers, made a fantastic dessert in the evening — panna cotta, which I had never had before.  I came home and looked it up.

While this quick recipe, which I’ve been experimenting with, is not the real panna cotta, it is a good desert that isn’t loaded with some type of sugar (honey, table sugar, etc.), which no matter what type, is unhealthy in large amounts.  (The American Heart Association suggests no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day for women and 9 for men.)  Next time, I’ll try less honey, and spoon over top a 3/4 cup of fresh strawberries, which I will cook down first to concentrate the natural fruit sugar.  Then, I’ll cut a strawberry into 6 slices and place 3 pieces on top of each serving.


  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • a few shavings of dark chocolate


Put water and ricotta cheese in a small sauce pan and heat on low for about a minute.  Stir in the cocoa powder, vanilla, and honey and heat for about five minutes to take the chill off the cheese.  Spoon into small bowls. Sprinkle the almonds on top and grate a few shavings of dark chocolate to finish the dessert.

Serves 2