Tuesday, August 4, 2015

summer cake

We are all cooks, each in our own fashion.
Cooking is learned in the same way as we learn to speak, write, act, dance. We observe, then we copy, then we interpret. As in learning a common language, we begin by imitating, then gradually develop our own way with words, our own style. Our interpretations differ even when we are using identical ingredients. Your version of these menus, your variation and adaptation, will make them your own. 
- David Tanis -

Lemon, Ricotta and Almond Flourless Cake 
(Adapted from Belle, cakelets and doilies 

120 grams unsalted butter, softened
200 grams caster sugar
1tsp vanilla paste
zest of 5 large lemons
4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
240 grams almond meal (ground almonds)
300 grams ricotta
flaked almonds, to decorated
icing sugar, for dusting

Heat oven to 160 degree Celsius. Line the base and sides of a 22cm round cake tin with baking paper and set aside.
Place the butter, 150 grams caster sugar, vanilla paste and lemon zest in an electric mixer and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy. Scrap down the sides of the bowl, then gradually add the egg yolks, one at a time, continuing to beat until fully combined. Add ground almonds and beat to combine. Fold 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 mixture and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gently fold a third of the egg whites into the cake mixture. Repeat with the rest of the egg whites.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the tops with a palette knife, decorate the cake with almond flakes, and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked and firm to touch. Allow to cool completely in the cake tin. Dust with icing sugar to serve. 

This is one of my favorite lemon cake recipes. I also call it a summer cake but honestly this is a "star" cake suitable for all seasons. It's moist and lemony, and the amount of lemon peel actually dictates the taste which is addictive and asks for another bite. 
Handful of berries (berries in season) on a side is an option for serving. 

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