Layer cakes are always festive, particularly when they are four-layered, fluffy and cloudlike This one, based on the flavors of an Indian dessert called ras malai, combines rose water, ricotta cheese and cardamom Egg whites in the batter and mascarpone in the buttercream give the cake an especially ethereal texture, while a cardamom-infused milk syrup keeps it moist
White Peaches, Pistachios, Honey and Ricotta 2 or 3 firm white peaches Juice of 1 lemon 1 pound fresh ricotta 4 tablespoons honey 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, toasted in a dry, hot pan for 30 seconds 2 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil. 1. Quarter and pit the peaches, and slice them into thin curls on a mandoline. Toss them with the lemon juice in a bowl. 2. Divide the ricotta among 4 dessert bowls, drizzle a tablespoon of honey on each, and toss on a handful of toasted pistachios.