This is one of my favourite cakes, and it was one of the most popular cakes that we served in the cafe during its time. Many of you have requested the recipe so here it is!
225g caster sugar
170g unsalter butter, softened
the finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large free range eggs, separated, at room temperature
250g ricotta – we use the fresh ricotta from the deli section of the supermarket
225g plain flour
1/2 cup milk
5 tsp baking powder
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp raw sugar
1-2 tbsp lemon juice, enough to make a runny icing
dried rose petals (available in-store) or finely grated lemon zest to garnish
Preheat the oven to 170C fan forced. Grease and line a 24cm springform cake pan.
Place the lemon zest and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed until the lemon zest has perfumed the sugar. Add the butter and vanilla and cream together until light and fluffy. In a small bowl combine the egg yolks with the lemon juice. Add the egg yolk/lemon juice mixture to the creamed butter a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the ricotta to make a smooth batter. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the flour to the batter in two batches alternately with the milk. You can use your mixer on low speed to do this. Set aside whilst you whisk the egg whites.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Stir 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the batter to loosen the mixture. Then carefully fold in the rest until thoroughly combined being careful not to knock out any air.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth over the top, but then make a slight dip in the centre – this helps the cake to rise evenly. Bake for 40 to 55 minutes or until golden and the sides of the cake have shrunk in from the side of the pan, and a toothpick/skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Set aside on a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
Meanwhile make the lemon drizzle icing by combining the icing sugar, raw sugar and just enough lemon juice to form a runny icing. When the cake is cool pour the icing onto the cake encouraging some of the icing to drizzle down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle with rose petals or lemon zest if desired.