Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake

I enjoy baking but I LOVE cooking. Baking always seems to get a bit tricky and if you aren't paying close attention and making precise measurements, you could end up with a complete disaster. When I cook, I do my thing, I let my mind wander and most of the time I don't even closely follow the recipe. Cooking is my therapy and I love spending time in the kitchen.

This Lemon Almond Ricotta cake though...I loved making it! It came together seamlessly, the recipe was easy to follow and the end result was incredible. A friend made this cake for my birthday last year and I knew it would be the perfect end to our Easter meal. It might even be my new favorite Springtime dessert! Lemon and almond go together like a dream and the ricotta creates such a nice balance. Using almond meal instead of flour gives this cake a unique texture that I love. Our Easter meal was complete when we finished with a delicious slice of this gem of a cake.

Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake
recipe from Honey and Figs

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste equivalent amount
zest from 2 lemons
4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
2.5 cups almond meal
10.5 oz. ricotta cheese. 
almond flakes

Freeze whisk attachment and mixing bowl.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 20 cm. round springform pan with parchment paper and set aside. 

Beat softened butter, 1 cup of the powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy and pale, about 5-6 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add almond meal and beat on medium to combine. Gently fold in the ricotta cheese. 

Remove bowl and whisk from the freezer and beat egg whites and the remaining powdered sugar (1 cup) until soft peaks form. This took me 8-10 minutes. Fold stiff egg whites into the cake batter and gently combine. 

Pour mixture into cake pan and sprinkle with almond flakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes and then cover with tin foil. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until cake is done, the top is slightly browned and the edges are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. 

Let the cake cool for 20 minutes before removing from the springform pan. Dust with additional powdered sugar before serving.

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