Ricotta and Lemon Cake
I realise that I haven't added anything to this page for a looooong time; what with 'the pandemic years', then we have been mega busy with the 'staycationers' who have now realised that you can have a jolly old holibob without standing in queues at airports, or sitting in your car for the most part of a day at ferry ports. Anyhoo... we are now entering the 'CoLCy' - cost of living crisis years - jeez, when will we catch a break? With that in mind we are being very mindful of all our costs here at HfH; and whilst we won't be increasing our rates, we are looking at where we can save a few pennies here and there whilst not forgoing the quality and care that our guests have come to appreciate.
I was wondering which cake to bake for guests and decided to look at what was in the fridge. There was a lone pot of ricotta cheese that would be thrown away in 2 days if we didn't use it, so I looked for a recipe that incorporated this and other staples in the baking cupboard and found this one from House & Garden. It is really simple but I thought it would be a good one as it keeps for a few days once cooked and is a good addition at breakfast too (quite a few of our guests like to have something sweet to finish off their coffee and tea).
Thrifty, tasty and versatile - what's not to like?
4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
80g caster sugar
1 unwaxed lemon
170g plain flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
pine nuts/flaked almonds/lemon icing - to decorate to your taste
Heat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/mark 4. Lightly oil a non-stick loaf tin (or line it with baking paper if the one you have is not non-stick). Whisk the eggs and sugar together until very light and fluffy and increased in volume by at least a third. In another bowl, beat together the ricotta, grated zest and juice of the lemon and the oil until smooth. Add this to the eggs and beat to combine fully. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder with a pinch of salt into a separate bowl and stir to distribute well. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture and pour into the loaf tin. Scatter selected nuts all over the top and lightly press them into the batter.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Once cool if no nuts used, decorate with a drizzle of lemon icing.