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Ricotta, Lemon, Polenta Teacakes

by Natalia Conroy from The Kitchen Orchard

Light and fluffy ricotta, lemon and polenta teacakes from The Kitchen Orchard. The gluten free loaf cake is flavoured with lemon zest and real vanilla seeds.


This is a lovely, light and fresh cake, which is based on a fantastic recipe that I learned at The River Café. When blood oranges are in season, I like to peel them and slice them into segments, which I caramelise a little, serving them with this cake and a large dollop of crème fraîche. Note that this recipe is gluten-free.

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125g caster sugar
110g soft butter
Zest of 3½ lemons plus juice of 1½ lemons
100g whole blanched almonds, finely ground in a food processor
3 eggs, separated
50g polenta flour
½ tsp salt
½ vanilla pod, split in half, seeds scraped out with a knife
75g fresh ricotta (buffalo milk ricotta is great too)
75g crème fraîche (mascarpone is fine too)

Essential kit

You will need 7 miniature loaf tins (10 x 5 x 3cm).


Preheat the oven to 150ºC/Gas 2. Line 7 miniature loaf tins (10 x 5 x 3cm) with non-stick baking paper.

Beat the sugar and butter until pale and creamy. Add the lemon zest, almonds, egg yolks, polenta flour, salt and vanilla seeds. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, crème fraîche and lemon juice. Add this to the rest of the mixture.

Whisk the egg whites in a very clean bowl until they form soft peaks. Fold one third of the egg whites into the ricotta mixture until the mixture is well combined, then fold in the remaining two thirds as gently as you can manage. Divide the mixture between the loaf tins and bake for 35–40 minutes or until the cakes are coming away from the sides of the tins and a skewer inserted into their centre comes out clean.

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