It’s no secret here at Bookery Cook that we love a citrus based dessert and this recipe for Almond, lemon & ricotta cake is one of my favourites. It was given to me by a good friend and ex chef at The River Cafe.
It is based on a River Cafe recipe (torta di mandorle, limone e ricotta), but Christina has a little trick that results in mouthfuls of warm creamy chunks of ricotta (aka mouthfuls of heaven).
This cake is zingy, light and fresh, we recommend eating it at room temperature with a cup of tea or glass of champagne.
Almond, lemon & ricotta cake
- 250g blanched almonds
- 65g plain flour
- zest of 7 lemons & juice of 3 lemons
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 250g castor sugar
- 6 eggs, separated
- 350g fresh ricotta cheese
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Butter a 25cm round take tin and line with greaseproof paper.
Coarsely chop the almonds in a food processor. Combine the flour, salt and lemon zest. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and light. Add the egg yolks one by one, then add the almond mixture.
Put the ricotta in a bowl and beat with a fork until large chunks form, then add the lemon juice. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the eggs whites into the almond mixture and finally stir in the ricotta.
This is when the trick comes in to play. When stirring in the ricotta, go against all your cake baking instincts and do not stir the mixture to mix in the ricotta. Give the mixture two or three turns, then leave it. The mixture should have big uneven chunks of ricotta through it.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes until set. Test by inserting a skewer, which should come out clean. Remove from the tin while still warm, and cool on a cake rack.