I have baked both sweet and savory treats almost daily since we were first ordered to stay at home due to the Pandemic. For a person who usually doesn’t enjoy baking, I find this quite remarkable! I have found that keeping busy in the kitchen relaxes me though, so I have spent many, many hours in the kitchen the past three months. The good news is that after years of trying off and on, I have finally perfected sourdough. I can now make a pretty incredible loaf of bread with only my natural leavening. I have kept my grandkids who live down the street happy by sending them some type of baked sweet every other day, and I think I have tried making every type of focaccia you could think of.
I haven’t baked a lot of cakes recently, but the ones I have baked are rustic, easy to assemble cakes such as this one made with ricotta cheese and polenta. I like cakes such as this one made with nuts or fruit rather than fussy layer cakes covered in icing. This is the kind of not too sweet cake you can slice and enjoy with your morning coffee, or serve with a dollop of whipped cream for dessert after dinner. This cake is delicious both warm from the oven as well as a day or two after baking.
Deborah Mele 2020
- 3/4 Cup Softened, Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- Grated Zest of 3 Medium Lemons
- 6 Eggs At Room Temperature, Separated
- Pinch of Salt
- 3 Cups Ricotta Cheese, Drained
- 2 1/3 Cups Almond Meal
- 1 1/3 Cups Fine Polenta
- 2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds
For The Syrup:
- 1 Cups Sugar
- Juice From 3 Lemons
- 2 Rosemary Sprigs
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Spray a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter, honey, and lemon rind until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well between the addition of each.
- Transfer to a larger bowl, and fold in the ricotta cheese, almond meal, and polenta.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks are formed, gradually adding in 1/2 cup sugar.
- Continue to beat until glossy, another minute or two.
- Gently fold egg whites into batter.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, and sprinkle almonds over top.
- Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester or bamboo skewer inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
- Remove from the oven and pierce the top all over with a skewer.
- In a small pot, stir together the remaining sugar, lemon juice, and rosemary, and bring to a boil.
- Stir to dissolve sugar, and continue to cook until you have a thick syrup.
- Spoon the syrup over the cake then cool for 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately, or serve at room temperature.
Adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveler
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 672Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 175mgSodium: 246mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 6gSugar: 50gProtein: 20g