This tangy lemon-scented cake is just as good served a day or two after baking as it is served warm, although once you smell it cooking, it might not last that long.
- 150 gm softened butter, plus extra for greasing
- 120 gm honey
- Finely grated rind and juice of 3 lemons
- 6 eggs, separated
- 400 gm firm ricotta
- 200 gm almond meal
- 180 gm fine polenta
- 2 tsp finely chopped rosemary, plus 3 extra sprigs
- 330 gm caster sugar (1½ cups)
- Flaked almonds, for scattering
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 1Preheat oven to 150°C and butter the base of a 26cm diameter cake tin (we used a fluted tin) and line it with baking paper. Beat butter, honey and lemon rind in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (4-5 minutes), scrape down sides of bowl, then add yolks one at a time, beating well between additions. Transfer to a large bowl, fold in ricotta, then almond meal, polenta, rosemary and a pinch of salt.
- 2Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer to soft peaks, then gradually whisk in 110gm sugar and whisk until glossy (1-2 minutes). Fold into ricotta mixture, then spoon batter into tin, smooth top and scatter with almonds. Bake until golden and a skewer withdraws clean (45-50 minutes). Remove from oven and pierce all over with a skewer.
- 3Stir lemon juice, remaining sugar and 80ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla bean and seeds, bring to the boil and cook until a light syrup forms (4-5 minutes). Discard vanilla bean, add rosemary sprigs and pour half over cake. Chill remaining.
- 4Serve cake warm or at room temperature drizzled with remaining syrup.
Drink Suggestion: Fruity prosecco Drink suggestion by Max Allen