Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Louisa's cake

I made a cake. It's been a while. After meeting all my deadlines, the sun was out Saturday and so I baked. This recipe I'd had bookmarked for a while. It had a short list of ingredients, always a winner in my book, and came with authentic Italian credentials (likewise). It contained ricotta, of which I have a seemingly endless supply in my freezer (compulsively making it when milk is about to expire) and there's nothing I like more than being able to cook with pantry staples. So. I've made many a ricotta cake before - this one is a perennial favourite - but this distinguished itself from the others by by featuring apple among its ingredients. You can't so much taste the fruit itself, just its subtle sweetness. Leavened with a little flour, rich with ricotta and bolstered with butter, it's simple and decadent all at once. I don't know Louisa but her cake is excellent. Grazie.

Louisa's cake
Adapted from a recipe by Jennifer Wagner, as published on Food52
Louisa is a family friend of the recipe's author, a gardener and chef from Chianti in Italy.

9 tablespoons (127g) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 
3 large eggs 
1 1/4 cups flour 
pinch salt 
1 cup fresh ricotta 
Zest of 1 lemon 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1 apple, peeled and grated (should yield about 1 cup) 
Icing sugar for serving

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease and flour a 9 or 10 inch springform tin. 
Cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Slowly mix in the flour, salt, ricotta, lemon zest, baking powder, and apple. 
Scrape the batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, til the cake is golden brown and the sides start to pull away from the pan. 
Cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto the rack and leave to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

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