Almond Cake With Naughty Ricotta Cream

This wonderful recipe brings back happy memories – serve it with a white recioto, Pieropan Colombaro, if you can get your hands on it.


  • 5 well sized best eggs
  • 320g caster sugar
  • 270g unsalted butter
  • 120g plain flour
  • 270g whole almonds blanched and peeled (do not be lured towards the awful bought ground matter)
  • A vanilla pod
  • The zest of an orange, finely grated
  • The juice of two oranges
  • A table spoon of icing sugar

Ricotta Cream Recipe

  • 250g fresh sheep’s ricotta
  • 150ml best double cream

Whip ingredients together and serve with the cake.


Heat the oven to 180C degrees. Line a 24/25cm cake tin with baking parchment. Bake a handful of flaked almonds until golden.

Ensure the almonds are dry and grind them until coarse. Add to this the flour and grind again until fine. A food processor makes an excellent result here. Place the butter in a pan and set to melt over a gentle heat.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar and beat well until pale. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, very well. Add the seeds to the bowl and beat. Add in the orange zest. Gently stir in the almonds, and with great care slowly add the melted butter.

Pour the batter into the lined cake tin and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until risen and golden. The time-honoured insertion of skewer to ensure doneness is appropriate.

Place the vanilla pod on top of the cake, a pretty conceit, even if inedible. Whisk together the orange juice and icing sugar while the cake is still warm and spoon over to give the lightest touch of frosting.

Let it cool and have although that this may well be even better the next day.