Period Living



Ricotta, ground almonds, lemon and polenta give this cake a wonderfull­y soft texture and zesty flavour. It is ideal for anyone who does not have a sweet tooth or for those seeking a gluten-free treat.


● 150g butter, room temperatur­e, plus extra to grease the tin

● 180g whole blanched almonds

● 60g fine polenta

● Finely grated zest of 4 lemons, plus extra to serve

● 180g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting

● 4 free-range eggs, separated

● 200g whole-milk ricotta cheese

● Juice of 2 lemons

Preheat the oven to 150°C (Gas mark 2). Butter the sides of a 23cm round springform tin and line the bottom with nonstick baking paper.

1. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely ground. Add the polenta and lemon zest and process briefly to mix.

2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the almond mixture.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta and lemon juice, then add to the almond-butter mixture and stir until blended.

4. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the almondbutt­er mixture just until evenly distribute­d and no white streaks remain.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake the cake for 40–50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then unclasp and lift off the sides and, working carefully as the cake is quite delicate, gently transfer the cake, still on the tin bottom to the rack to cool.

6. Once the cake is completely cool, invert it, lift off the base and parchment and then turn it upright on a cake plate. Dust the top with sugar and sprinkle with some grated lemon zest before serving.

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