This week I am

baking cakes. Specifically cheesecakes, and even more specifically, ricotta cheesecakes. I had an idea, some flavours in my mind, and went searching for recipes. Most of them involved flavours I didn’t want – mixing the ricotta with cream cheese, for example. So I played around and invented. The first time I made a ricotta cake with sugar and flour and almonds and so on and baked it in a pastry case. Very good, but…. So I tried again, this time with less flour and sugar, and no pastry. This is what we have, this is what I am happy with. These are the four stages of the cake, pictured below.  In the tin, unbaked; baked; turned out, and cut.  I don’t blanch the almonds first, but I suspect it would be better if I had. Paler, anyway, but not necessarily better in flavour.

500g ricotta

80g caster sugar

60g plain flour

80g ground almonds

Three eggs, separated

2 tablespoons currants, soaked in rum

Grated rind one orange

Butter, breadcrumbs for the cake tin


Mix the sugar with the ricotta and the grated orange rind. Add the flour, stir well but gently. Add the ground almonds, and the currants. Add the egg yolks, one by one.

Beat the egg whites until still. Fold carefully through the mixture.

Put into a well buttered baking tin (20cm diameter) lightly sprinkled with breadcrumbs.

Bake at 170 C until the sides of the cake are just shrinking away from the sides of the dish and the top is lightly golden.

Leave to cool in the tin before turning out. Dust with icing sugar before serving. 

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