Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake: Seducing, Italian way !
Although the most popular Carneval in Italy is the one in Venice with costumes and masks brilliantly made specially for the occasion, similar, not that fancy celebrations are organized all over Italy.
By celebration I mean the joy expressed because of successful banishing the winter and evil spirits to welcome new sunny season hoping to be fruitful and abundant.
Since first varieties of lemons are already ripe in the south, this cake is usually made in February to have with afternoon coffee or tea, during Carnivals.
What is the most amazing fact about this cake is its’ simplicity and light, gentle and delicate balance of ricotta and lemon zest. Moist and fresh slice of it really announces all sorts of fruits and vegetables to come in spring to rejuvenate our souls, minds and bodies after hibernation that was actually preparing state for new growth.
So, if you are ready to leave the old you behind and welcome new season, this one will definitely rise your spirits.
As about practical part of this introduction, you need two medium sized bowls for this cake since you separate eggs to whisk the egg whites in one and yolks with sugar in another. Detailed instructions follow …
- 3 eggs, separated
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 + ⅓ stick butter, unsalted
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 cup Ricotta cheese
- Zest of two lemons
- Icing sugar, optional, to dust the cake before serving
- Whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt, in a bowl, until stiff peaks form.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 356 F.
- Cover rounded baking dish (10 inches in diameter) with baking paper and lightly oil it.
- In another bowl, mix egg yolks, sugar and lemon zest. Add ricotta, butter and flour.
- Slowly add egg whites foam and gently mix with spatula.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 43 minutes or until clean toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Serve cold, dusted with icing sugar.