Lemon, Ricotta & Almond Cake & a matching wine
With Mother's Day approaching and Easter hot on its heels, this tried, tested and much loved recipe for Lemon, Ricotta & Almond cake would be the perfect treat for a family celebration.
I cannot remember the exact origin of the recipe having torn it out of a newspaper many years ago; you can find may iterations on the internet. This cake/ dessert has been produced and reproduced when we have guests. It never disappoints - and as an added bonus is suitable for wheat-free and gluten-free diets, though because of the ground almonds not for those with a nut allergy. It is also really easy to make.
120g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
250g finely ground almonds - you could grind your own but most supermarkets have these ready ground in the baking ingredients section
1 tsp baking powder
250g ricotta cheese
Preheat the oven to 160°C / 325°F / gas mark 3. Line and grease an 20cm cake tin -try to use a tin that is about 7.5cm tall to avoid any overspill though the cake does not rise a great deal.
This next, main, step is most easily and quickly done using an electric mixer though you can mix by hand if you prefer. Soften the butter and beat together with the sugar until pale and light in texture. Fold in the ground almonds and baking powder and beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the zest, juice and ricotta. You can alter the amount of zest and juice according to taste.
Pour the mixture into the greased cake tin and place it on a baking tray as some juices may leak out on baking. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until the cake is just slightly or no longer wobbly in the centre - an inserted skewer should come out clean.
Leave to cool and then dust the cake with icing sugar. Serve with fresh fruits such as blueberries or raspberries and crème fraîche which offset the sweetness. Delicious!
Matching lemon desserts with wine
I couldn't finish an article on food without mentioning complementary wines, could I? This dish is quite sweet but also lemony which could cause a bit of a dilemma for your wine choice. As I wrote in my general blog on food and wine matching:
• for sweet foods, always choose a wine sweeter than the food in order to avoid an acidic or bitter taste to the wine. The sweet food will make the wine taste fruity and less sweet.
• for lemon flavours find a wine with high acidity, a crisp wine to make the food seem softer and less tart
The perfect solution is this sparkling Moscato d'Asti from La Spinetta which manages to be slightly sweet and yet very refreshing at the same time. It is also low in alcohol at only 5.5%. I have also tried and tested this combination and it is a match made in heaven. For something a little different, try a bottle in your next mixed case.
My Barbecued Lamb recipe from last summer received some good feedback from several Wines With Attitude newsletter subscribers. Why not try it when the weather improves?
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