It’s never a good sign when you return from your wedding makeup trial and your father exclaims you ‘look remarkably like Amy Winehouse,’ followed by your mother adding, ‘no she doesn’t, she looks like she’s been punched in the face.’
It’s 10 days until I’m to be wed and I’m constantly being asked if I’m ‘wedding ready.’ According to many bridal magazines I should now be in the final stages of my wedding regime, consisting of severe starvation, daily facials, body scrubs and vigorous personal training sessions.
Alas, judging from the chocolate wrappers before me and the fact that I’m actually going to have to be sewn into my dress,[*] I’m a fairly useless bride. Luckily, I do still have one key feature to any wedding, which seems to be grossly overlooked in these magazines, a fiancé, who I can’t wait to marry even if I’m bursting out of my dress and look like a Panda….
So, my wedding motto is, EAT CAKE! As luck would have it, I have just the recipe for any bride, a deliciously lemony creation. Due to the fact that you have to use fresh Ricotta it’s best eaten on the day.
[*] A word of warning to any future bride, don’t have a dress fitting shortly after you’ve had flu and haven’t been able to eat for a week.
Taken from Diana Henry’s book Simple (Serves 8 or 1 hungry bride)
175g (6oz) butter, softened
175g (6oz) golden caster sugar
grated zest of 4 lemons and juice of 3
3 eggs, separated
250g (9oz) fresh ricotta
100g (3½oz) self-raising flour, sifted
25g (1oz) ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
icing sugar, for sifting
- Beat the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy then beat in the lemon zest. Lightly beat the egg yolks with a fork and add gradually, beating well after each addition. Drain off any liquid that is in the ricotta and stir the cheese into the batter. Put the egg whites in a separate bowl and beat until they form medium peaks.
- Stir the lemon juice into the batter then fold in the flour, almonds and baking powder. Add 2 big tbsp of the beaten whites to loosen the batter, then fold in the rest. Scrape into a buttered 20cm (8in) spring-form cake tin. Place in an oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. It is a very moist cake because of the ricotta, and doesn’t have the texture of a regular sponge.
- Remove the band around the cake and leave to cool a bit. It is lovely served just slightly warm, but you can let it cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve with yoghurt and fruit.
Directions for use: If you don’t know what to do with the left over zested lemons, cut them into slices, put in a sandwich bag and freeze….perfect for G&T’s or flavoured water.