Carrot Almond Cake With Ricotta Cream
This carrot cake is redolent of almonds and lemon, without the usual cup or so of oil that many carrot cake recipes call for. If you use yellow carrots, it’s exceptionally pretty. You’ll have leftover ricotta cream, which goes great on pancakes, pound cake or cut-up fruit. The cake tends to gain moisture as it sits, well wrapped, at room temperature.
FOR THE CAKE:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more as needed
11/2 cups finely ground blanched or slivered almonds (may substitute almond flour)
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
11/4 cups unbleached cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Scant 2 cups grated carrots, preferably yellow
FOR THE RICOTTA CREAM
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons honey
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375 degrees. Melt 4 tablespoons butter and let it cool.
Combine the ground almonds, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor. Pulse until well incorporated. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with a little butter and dust the sides with some of the almond-zest mixture, shaking out any excess.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Combine the eggs and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a mixer bowl. Beat on low, then high speed until pale, foamy and thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add remaining almond-zest mixture, almond extract and flour mixture, beating until well incorporated. Pour cooled butter over batter and fold it in along with carrots.
Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing the surface. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees. Bake cake until it is springy to the touch in the center, lightly browned and beginning to pull away from the pan sides, about 40 minutes.
Let it cool completely in its pan, then release the springform and slide the cake onto a platter.
To make the ricotta cream, mix ricotta, sour cream, honey and zest by hand or with a mixer on low speed, until smooth.
Just before serving, dust cake with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve the sauce alongside. Makes 10 servings.
Source: Adapted from “Vegetable Literacy” by Deborah Madison (Ten Speed).
Per serving (using low-fat sour cream and half the ricotta cream): 350 calories, 10 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 18 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 22 g sugar.