Lemon ricotta cake

Want the deep flavour of cheesecake for a fraction of the calories and far less fat? Whip up a batch of these fluffy lemon-ricotta squares. "They are delicious still warm with a touch of cream and a few raspberries," says cook Cathy Rogers. "And they're equally delicious the next day. If you're feeling decadent you could have one as a carb-rich, pre-run breakfast cake." 

Preparation time: 60 mins

Makes: 15 squares 

  • 120g lemon infused olive oil (£10, nudoadopt.com)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs, separated  
  • zest of three lemons plus the juice of one
  • 400g tub of ricotta  
  • 125g self-raising flour or 140g ground almonds 
  • 1 tsp baking powder

1 Preheat the oven to 180C. Beat together the oil, sugar and the yolks of the eggs.

Add the ricotta and zest and juice of the lemons, beating them all together. In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the main mixture, trying not to lose too much air through overmixing, then do the same with the flour (or ground almonds) and baking powder.

3
 Pour the mixture into a large cake tin. Bake for about 40 minutes, until golden brown on top. Cool and cut into 15 slices.


The Skinny

Calories 221
Fat 9g
Carbs 17g
Protein 5g


The Healthy

Often credited as the key factor in Mediterranean health, olive oil is a great lower-calorie substitute for butter or other fats used in home baking. 

Ricotta tastes sweet - and its high calcium content is tasty too: researchers linked the mineral to lower fat absorption, but only if you get it from food and not supplementation. 

Ground almonds instead of flour will make the cakes heavier, but you lighter: the nuts were linked to weight loss when dieters ate them daily in place of the equivalent calories of carbs.

This recipe appeared in the January 2012 edition of the magazine. Thanks to nudoadopt.com for supplying this recipe.