passover week - lemon almond ricotta cake

Hi every-one,

I wrote and posted this recipe yesterday but there must have been a glitch in the system because the post disappeared. So here we go again. 

Have you ever made your own ricotta? I'm not going to give you a recipe for ricotta cheese as there are many on the web but if you can't buy passover friendly ricotta for this recipe (which you can't in Sydney) you may have to make your own. It's pretty simple to make though - just milk, salt, lemon juice, a thermometer, a way to drain the curds and a bit of time.

This cake is based on the famous lemon ricotta cake from the River Cafe. I made a version of this cake last weekend in a fluted tin even though I knew it was unlikely to come out cleanly and without a struggle.

In the battle of the cake vs tin, the tin won and I stuck the broken bits of cake back together and smothered it in icing sugar. It tasted great though and well worth making again.

So back to the kitchen I returned for round 2. To save time, I didn't make my own ricotta this time. Instead I used favourite brand, Paesanella and baked the cake in a more sensibly shaped tin. It came out of the tin without a problem and this time I decided to top the cake with some softly whipped cream and candied lemon rind.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Almond and Ricotta Cake - makes 1 x 17cm cake
125g almond meal
50g passover baking mix
150g fresh ricotta or white curd cheese
75mls strained lemon juice
110g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 3 lemons
3 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 170C. Butter a 17cm round cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.

In a small bowl, combine the almond meal with the passover baking mix. Place the ricotta in a separate bowl; lightly beat with a fork then add the lemon juice. 

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until pale and light. Add the egg yolks one by one, then add the almond mixture alternately with the ricotta mixture. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the almond mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes until set. Test by inserting a skewer, which should come out clean. Cool on a cake rack.

Dust with icing sugar or top with softly whipped cream and candied lemon slices. Decorate just before serving.

Candied Lemon Slices
1 small lemon thinly sliced and seeds removed
⅔ cup caster sugar
⅔ cup water

In a frying pan, combine the sugar and water, place over a low heat stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 5 - 8 minutes or until the toffee starts to turn golden. Add the lemon slices and turn frequently until the lemon slices are golden and well coated about 3 - 5 minutes. Remove the slices and place on baking paper. Allow to cool at room temperature.

The cake is lovely - light and moist and well worth the time and effort involved in making your own cheese.

Have a great weekend. See you next Monday with the final recipe (I think) for Passover Week.

Bye for now,



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