Sicilian Lemon Thyme Cake

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175 g unsalted butter (softened)

175 g unrefined golden caster sugar

4 lemon zest (of 4 lemons)

3 lemon juice (of 3 lemons)

3 eggs

250 g ricotta

100 g self-raising white flour

25 g ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp lemon thyme

150 g unrefined golden caster sugar

150 ml water

150 g unrefined golden caster sugar (decoration)

150 ml water (decoration)

50 g white chocolate (melted) (decoration)

1 tbsp olive oil (decoration)

0.5 tsp lemons extract (decoration)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4).

2. Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy then add in the lightly beaten egg yolks gradually, beating well after each addition.

3. Drain off any liquid that is in the ricotta and stir the cheese into the batter.

4. Put the egg whites in a separate bowl and beat until they form medium peaks.

5. Stir the lemon juice, chopped thyme and zest into the batter then fold in the flour, almonds and baking powder.

6. Add 2 tablespoons of the beaten whites to loosen the batter and then fold in the rest. Scrape into a buttered 20cm spring-form cake tin. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.

7. Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake, if the cake is cooked throughout it should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, place in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour.

8. For decoration, confit some lemon slices in thick syrup (150g caster sugar &150ml water) for 15 minutes on a slow heat. Decorate the top of the cake with the slices, a little lemon thyme and a drizzle of white chocolate mixed with virgin olive oil and half a tea spoon of lemon extract.

Bon Appetit!

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