An aside - it has occurred to me that almost everything I make contains lemon, ricotta and/or olive oil. Sorry.
This is another creation based around one of my favourite English cake classics, the saintly Lemon Drizzle. Like the great Lemon Drizzle, this cake is moist, citrussy and extremely satisfying to make and eat. Easier than the traditional LD too, as there is no whipping or beating of butter involved. Like most of my favourite cakes, all you need to do is measure all of the ingredients into a bowl, mix and then bake.
This cake is infinitely adaptable, a perfect building block to which you can add as you see fit, to suit any and every occasion that life might throw at you. If you wish to omit the drizzle, the cake makes a very good, solid, simple sort of breakfast cake, a little more humbly cakey in texture, but very good with a coffee. If you like the citrus-soaked, damp glory of the lemon drizzle, then add the syrup. You can then choose to ice it with a simple glaze icing for an extra flourish.
Makes 1 x 23cm bundt cake
100g ground almonds
150g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
good pinch salt
200ml olive oil
Zest of 3 lemons (small) or 2 large
Lemon juice – juice of those used
Preheat the oven to 180.
Grease a 23cm cake tin (bundt or standard)
Place all the cake ingredients in a blender and blend until a smooth batter is formed. (if you do not have a blender you can whisk everything together by hand with a balloon whisk, starting with the ricotta and then the oil to make sure there are no lumps in the ricotta).
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and spread it out evenly.
Place the cake in the oven and bake until risen and golden, about 40-45 minutes. Insert a skewer to check for doneness.
Allow to cool while you make the syrup (if using). Melt the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Pour the syrup over the cake and leave to cool completely.
Ice if you like.