Citrus and almonds are one of my favourite baking combinations. Add ricotta to the mix and I am sold. I just love the more substantial cake you get when baking with almond meal and one of the first recipes I posted on the blog were these delicious Clementine Almond Cakes.
I have been wanting to make this Lemon Ricotta Cake from Cakelets and Doilies for quite some time. I was also intrigued with the method of making a meringue of the egg whites before adding it to the mixture so needed to try it out.
I did not make any real changes to the recipe, except for reducing the sugar and blitzing the sugar and lemon zest together before beating it with the butter. And as mentioned in the original recipe don’t skimp on the zest – you really want all that lemon flavour as almond and ricotta is rather bland.
Any citrus fruit should be perfect for this cake and come winter I want to make an orange and definitely a naartjie version.
- 120g butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup lemon zest
- 4 eggs, separated
- 240g almond meal
- 300g ricotta
- flaked almonds for decoration
- icing sugar for serving
- Heat oven to 180 degrees C and line the base and sides of a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.
- Place 100g of the castor sugar and the lemon zest in a food processor and blitz until finely ground.
- Then beat the butter, vanilla and sugar/zest mix together for about 10 minutes until pale and creamy.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating the mixture well after each egg yolk is added.
- Add the almond meal and beat to combine and then fold the ricotta through the almond mixture.
- Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and whisk until stiff peaks have formed. Mix a third of the egg whites into the cake mixture, then gently fold in the rest of the egg white mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the top and sprinkle with the almond flakes.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until cooked and firm to the touch.
- Allow to cool completely in the cake tin before removing.
- Dust with icing sugar to serve.