Almond Ricotta Cake

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Much of the baking my grandmother did (usually biscotti) included almonds in some way. The almond tree was brought to Sicily by the ancient Greeks, who considered it to be a symbol of hope. Sicilians love their almonds!

Of all the cakes I make, with the exception of Sicilian olive oil cake, this one is my (current) favorite. Paired with a cup of cappuccino, it is a fitting treat for a leisurely weekend morning breakfast.

The ricotta makes this luscious almond-flavored cake ridiculously moist and the additional kiss of almond in the sweet glaze is well, the icing on the cake!

 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta (whole milk not low fat)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup flour plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt (scant 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest

Almond Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  1. Grease and flour a 7-inch cake pan and preheat the oven to 350*
  2. Using a large bowl and a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes).
  3. Add the eggs and beat until incorporated. Beat in the ricotta, vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest and then add it to the butter mixture. Beat just until the ingredients are combined.
  5. Fill the prepared cake pan with the batter. Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 45 minutes. Let cool.
  6. To make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners sugar, lemon juice and almond extract. Stir in the milk until smooth.
  7. Using a small dry skillet, toast the sliced almonds.
  8. Remove the cake from the pan and spoon the glaze evenly over the top and sprinkle with the almonds .
  9. Serve at room temperature.

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