David and Luise are some of our favorites – their blog, Green Kitchen Stories, has gorgeous photography, their recipes are inspiring, and, as Stockholm natives, they make Scandinavia look like the best place on earth. But they also travel a lot and, like us here at Salt & Wind, they get inspired by the places they travel, like with this Torta di Ricotta e Polenta recipe.
Rich, sweet, moist and yet completely free from flour and refined sugar, this Italian lemon and almond cake is a great way to end a meal. It is technically a cheesecake, but has very little in common with the heavy American versions. In Italy, most delis have their own version of ricotta. The most delicious one is made from sheeps’ milk – try it in this recipe, if you can find it. We often prepare the cake a day in advance. It makes it even creamier and enhances the flavors.
Torta di Ricotta e Polenta Recipe
- 100 g (3 oz/ 1/2 scant cup) unsalted butter
- 150 ml (5 fl oz / 1/3 scant cup) honey (preferably unheated)
- Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs separated
- 140 g (5 oz/ 1 1/4 cups) almond meal
- (or 140g (5 oz/ 1 1/4 cups) blanched almonds blitzed into the flour
- 125 g (4 1/2 oz/ 1 cup) fine, organic GMO- free stoneground polenta (not instant)
- 250 g (9oz/ generous 1 cup) ricotta cheese
- 45 g (1 1/2 oz/ 1/2 cup) flaked slivered almonds
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F/Gas 3). Line the base of a 20 cm (8-in) springform pan with parchment paper and set aside. Place the butter, half of the honey, the lemon zest and vanilla in a bowl and use an electric mixer to beat everything until creamy. Add the egg yolks and continue to beat for a further minute. Add the almond flour, polenta and ricotta and fold everything together.
- Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until softly peaking in a separate bowl. Add the remaining honey and continue whisking until peaking again and well blended. Slowly fold the egg whites into the cake mixture.
- Turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin and sprinkle the flaked almonds evenly over the top. Bake for 40–50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. The centre of the cake might look slightly wobbly at first, but it will firm up when the cake cools down.
- Leave to cool completely before removing it from the tin.