I was walking through the grocery store, and out of nowhere I had this crazy impulse to buy ricotta. Now, don’t ask me why. At first I thought, am I pregnant? Nope. But there was no doubt I was leaving that store with the biggest container they sell. Maybe it’s all of this research that I’m reading about the benefits of whey protein (which is what ricotta is made from). Regardless, while putting away my groceries I caught sight of that giant bag of lemons that had been staring me in the eye for a few days, and it dawned on me that this could be a killer combination for a cake.
Well, as it turns out, I was right!
I love lemon and ricotta together, and figured that while I was on this healthy protein kick that I would add some almonds to the recipe. DE-LISH. This cake is incredibly moist and dense with a perfect lemon flavour and a bit of crunch from the almonds.
I’d say that this would make an amazing Easter desert if you ask me! It was an absolute hit in our little house!
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup sugar (divided as per instructions below)
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 ¼ cups ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup grated lemon zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- pinch salt
- ¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a large springform pan.
- In a clean medium sized bowl, beat the egg whites on high with a hand mixer until peaks form. Slowly add ¼ cup of the sugar while beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- Cut a slit in the vanilla bean length-ways, open it up, and scrape out the seeds with the back side of a knife.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and vanilla seeds until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining ¾ cup sugar, egg yolks, ricotta cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice, and beat on medium until smooth. Add the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt and beat again on medium speed until combined.
- Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites until incorporated, and then gently fold in the remaining egg whites just until the batter is smooth.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and even it out with the back of a spatula. Sprinkle the cake evenly with the sliced almonds and bake for 40-50 minutes until the cake is lightly browned on the edges and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes before removing the sides of the springform pan. Sprinkle the cake with icing sugar if you wish and serve.