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oh my – this cake. Dare I say more. Flour-less, light and beyond perfection, this is the perfect dessert to marry up with a summer’s day (even if we’re not quite there yet!). I went a bit overboard and tried to cram all the batter into one fluted cake tin. I wouldn’t recommend this… I just wanted the beautiful fluting! Much to my dismay however, we had to cut it from the tin. It tasted just as good though.
I have a thing for almonds. We go back a long way. Well, since flaked almonds became a regular in the weekly shop to top my yoghurt and blueberries in the morning for breakfast. I’d toast them, grind them, sprinkle the roasted remains from my Moulinex on top of honey drizzled yoghurt and since then we’ve got on like a house on fire. They’re my staple snack to take to work and keep in my emergency snack tin, which seems to invoke plenty more “emergencies” than need be just so I can sneak a handful before anyone notices. Someone once told me I may have been a squirrel in a previous life. It’s entirely possible. So, almonds, here we are again, making this cake entirely gluten free.
Make this and if you blink, it might all be gone!
Lemon, Ricotta & Almond Cake
120g unsalted butter, softened
275g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla essence (or 1 vanilla bean, split)
4 eggs, separated
Zest of one lemon
240g ground almonds
Flaked almonds, to decorate
Icing sugar, for dusting
1. Heat the oven to 160C / 325F then line the base and sides of a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper. Set aside.
2. Place the butter, 165g of caster sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest in a bowl and using an electric whisk, beat for 8-10mins until pale and creamy.
3. Gradually add the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition and keep beating until fully combined.
4. Add the ground almonds and continue to mix. Once combined, fold the ricotta and mascarpone through the almond mixture.
5. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with a hand-held electric whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and whisk continuously until stiff peaks form.
6. Gently fold a third of the egg whites into the cake mixture, then repeat with the rest of the egg whites.
7. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the top with a palette knife, sprinkle a few handfuls of flaked almonds on the top and place in the oven for 45mins – 1hr.
8. Check the centre is baked using a wooden cocktail stick or skewer, making sure it comes out clean and then allow to cool completely in the tin.
9. Dust with icing sugar and whip up some double cream to serve.