Lemon Ricotta Cake for Afternoon Tea
by eat in my kitchen
I open the door to my fridge and find a package of ricotta that needs to be used soon. Dinner is already planned so I’m thinking about a sweet solution. My eyes pass the big pile of lemons on my window sill and my decision is made. A cake, spongy, simple and aromatic, with lots of lemon juice and zest and creamy ricotta! Some icing sugar on top and it looks as pretty as a Sunday tea time cake should look.
Sometimes, especially on a Sunday, I need something sweet to go with my tea but I’m too lazy to leave my cosy sofa and my books and magazines for too long. In these moments a quick and spongy cake can satisfy all you need, half an hour in the oven and it’s done. The air is filled with the sweetest smell and a golden piece of cake is waiting on my plate.
The ricotta lemon combination is one I use (and like) a lot, mixed with spaghetti and crushed black pepper, it makes one of the pasta dishes I cook the most, all year round. Tangy and smooth, it’s a balance the two manage to keep, on the sweet and on the savory side!
Lemon Ricotta Cake
For a 20cm / 8″ cake pan you need
butter, soft, 80g / 3 ounces
sugar 150g / 5.5 ounces
ricotta, 80g / 3 ounces
organic eggs, separated, 3
freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 tablespoons
zest of 1 lemon
plain flour 200g / 7 ounces
baking powder 3/4 teaspoon
pinch of salt
icing sugar to dust the cake
Set the oven to 180°C / 355°F (fan-assisted oven) and butter the cake pan.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till stiff. Combine the flour and baking powder.
Beat the butter and sugar till fluffy, add the ricotta and mix for a couple minutes. Add the egg yolks and continue mixing for 2 minutes. While still mixing, add the lemon juice and zest followed by the dry ingredients, mixing well for another minute. Stir 2 tablespoons of the stiff egg whites into the dough before you carefully fold in all of the egg whites. The dough is a bit firm so it may take some time to combine everything.
Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean. Let the cake cool and dust with icing sugar.