I recently found a selection of recipes that I had written while at university which triggered memories of endless procrastination and very little money. One particularly memorable recipe was the lemon and blueberry ricotta cake that I made for one of my first Pudding Parties (a gathering much like the recent Edinburgh Cake Ladies event). Memories of a light fluffy lemon sponge punctuated with fresh, sapphire-coloured blueberries came flooding back. Starting to salivate over mere memories, I made up my mind as to my next culinary adventure.
It seems that I had adjusted the original recipe from the Pudding Party to make it suitable for my coeliac ex-flat mate. Convinced by my own scrawled comments at the top of the recipe about how moist the coeliac cake is, I resolved to try the version which replaced the flour with ground almonds and fine ground polenta.
The first step to ensuring the light, fluffy sponge was to cream the butter and sugar until they became light and fluffy themselves. To this mixture was then added all the other ingredients, including the ground almonds, polenta, lemon zest, orange zest and ricotta cheese.
In a separate bowl, I whisked the eggs whites (by hand, for once!) to what I hope were soft peaks and gently folded these into the rest of the mixture.
I then baked the mixture for around 45 minutes in a 23cm tin or until the top of the cake showed slight signs of cracking. I think it was baked for around 45 minutes as I stupidly managed to turn the timer off on my phone half way through the process. A cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake after the 45 minutes came out clean so I decided not to risk any further cracking and removed the cake from the oven.
Once cooled, I dredged the cake with icing sugar and served up two large slices. If my memory had served me right, the cake would be sweet, light and moist enough to not need further embellishments such as icing or cream so a wee sprinkling of icing sugar was all it needed.
A gentle aroma of lemon had filled the kitchen and when I sliced the cake, the claims made by my 19-year old self about the moistness of the cake were proven correct. Unfortunately, the taste left something to be desired. The almonds overpowered what was supposed to be a light, fluffy cake and even managed to dominate the lemon flavour. The centre of the cake was definitely cooked but it seemed almost too moist. I would love to find the recipe for my light, fluffy lemon and blueberry cake but this clearly wasn’t it.