I remember Anindya mentioning a soft and moist tea-cake baked with ricotta cheese after his tour from Italy. He brought a suitcase full of truffle products, different kinds of cheese, several cured types of meat, chocolates, some exquisite wine, and limoncello from Italy. I spent the next couple of months cooking and learning new recipes. Anindya also got a couple of cookbooks. After every meal, I would ask him, ‘does it taste the same?’ And he would always say no. Of course, the water is different, the air, ambiance, everything matters. This lemon ricotta cake was the only one he said was absolutely spot on with his memories.
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The Authentic Italian Cook-Show
This happened on the 19th of June 2021. Organized by IICCI and supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, we spent an afternoon learning more about Italian cuisine. It was part of the global project True Italian Taste. And it took place at Foodhall Mumbai with Chef Aabhaas Mehrotra, Italian food expert Luca Bernadini, and Italian blogger and influencer Olly Esse. The aim was to increase the knowledge and consumption of 100% made in Italy food and wine.
Chef Aabhaas cooked spaghetti aglio e olio, parmigiana di melanzane and summer truffle and porcini risotto. Of course, they had sent a box of true and authentic Italian ingredients beforehand. Ricotta cheese was part of that box of ingredients. Hence I decided to make a lemon ricotta cake with that ricotta soon after. And I promise to share the recipe of the summer truffle and porcini risotto soon.
About Lemon Ricotta Cake
Ricotta is a soft Italian cheese, much like our Bengali chhana. It was invented in Sicily and is made from sheep, cow and goat’s milk. I am told that the one with sheep’s milk tastes the best. It is extremely creamy and mildly salty cheese with a short shelf life. Lemon ricotta cake is quite popular in Italy and is served at most of their patisseries. It is denser than the lemon yogurt cake that I bake. Having said that, it is very moist and soft.
Storing and Serving suggestions
You can store lemon ricotta cake in the refrigerator for 5 days. Serve it chilled but I personally like it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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Lemon Ricotta Cake
- ⅔ cup ricotta cheese room temperature
- 6 tbsp butter at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar plus 1 tbsp extra
- 2 eggs
- 12 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- zest of lemon to taste
- ⅔ cup Grated apple skinless, approx 1½ apples
- powdered sugar for dusting
- In a mixing bowl, take the butter, ricotta, cheese, and sugar. Whisk till it is light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one by one and make sure the first one is fully incorporated before you add the second one.
- Whisk it well to make it light and airy
- Sift in flour baking powder and salt. Fold this gently in the egg batter
- Finally, add lemon zest and grated apple and combine
- Line a nine-inch baking tin with parchment paper and pour the batter into it
- Bake in preheated at 180 degrees C fr 25 minutes or until the cake has set
- Prick a skewer in the centre of the cake to check the doneness. This cake does not rise, so do not worry about that. Also, if you want a thicker layer, use an 8-inch pan instead of a 6-inch pan and your baking time will also increase by 10 minutes.
- Once the cake has cooled down, dust powdered sugar and serve.