lemon ricotta and polenta cake

I first saw a photo of this cake in Delicious magazine way back in 2014 and I've been thinking of making it ever since. With soon to expire leftover ricotta in the fridge, I decided the time had come to make the cake.

The recipe is quite similar to an Ottolenghi upside down orange cake I make quite often, so I changed the proportions a little based on that tried and true recipe. If you compare the recipe to the original, there's more egg in my recipe, lemons were used instead of the limes and I've added a little bit of flour.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a small loaf tin. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C. To make a regular size loaf cake, just double all the ingredients and bake for the same length of time.

Lemon Ricotta and Polenta Cake - adapted from a Darren Robertson recipe via Delicious magazine 2014

55g fine (instant) polenta
2 tbs plain flour
1 cup almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of sea salt
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup caster sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs
125g fresh ricotta, cut into 1-2 cm pieces
Sprig fresh rosemary

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease a 17cm x 9cm x 8cm pan and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set to one side.

Cream the butter and sugar and lemon rind in an electric mixer. Still beating, slowly add the eggs until completely mixed. Mix in the dry ingredients alternating with the lemon juice to make a soft batter. Allow the mixture to stand for a few minutes before gently folding in the ricotta, trying to keep the ricotta pieces whole.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, then sprinkle a few rosemary leaves over the cake mixture. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown and cooked when tested with a skewer. If the cake is browning too much, cover the cake with a piece of baking paper. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out.

This makes a moist dense cake. The rosemary adds an intriguing flavour but next time I'd add some finely chopped rosemary to the cake batter rather than on the top of the batter. The rosemary sprigs dry out as the cake bakes and they get a little bit too crunchy.

I've been baking up a storm in preparation for Passover week. I have lots of good things to share with you. 

See you all again soon.

Bye for now,


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