Willunga Almond Blossom Festival Cake by Helen Korakianitis
This one bowl wonder is so easy to make yet so delicious to eat, you would think there was more to the method of it. All hand mixed and so airy that it's best baked as a reverse bundt to allow for that amazing rise!
- 400g soft ricotta cheese
- 350g raw caster sugar
- 400g self-raising flour
- 200g ground roasted almonds (a mix of course and medium grounds works best for texture) *
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 180mls mild olive oil
- 5 large eggs
- Zest 2 large lemons
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Icing sugar
*Almonds can be roasted or un-roasted. A roasted almond will give a deeper, earthier taste where an un-roasted almond gives a lighter texture and flavour.
- Pre heat oven to 170 degrees celcius (fan forced oven).
- In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, lemon zest and lemon juice using a whisk. Add the ricotta in and whisk until well combined.
- Finally, gently whisk in the flour and almonds making sure not to over mix
- Pour the cake mixture into a lightly greased large bundt or cake tin (25cm plus) and bake for 50-60 minutes until the cake is baked.
- Once baked, allow the cake to stand in the tin for 20 minutes before turning out and dusting with icing sugar.
The story behind recipe in Helen's words:
I grew up in the kitchen with my mum who would bake for family and friends, special occasions or simply just because. We always had what we needed at home to make delicious sweets and that’s because we would always use what we had! To this day my mum still uses this concept and has passed that onto me which continues to encourage me to use what I have, get creative and get baking! Using ingredients that keep well, taste great and are readily available are one of the keys to success in your kitchen. Adding moisture in cakes from elements like yoghurt/ricotta and oils will always ensure a moist crumb and delicate texture.
This recipe evolved from a collection of tastes that I wanted to incorporate into one, easy recipe that can be adapted to suit a variety of occasions and pallets. For example, you can use a combination of citrus fruits for the acidic element (lemon, orange, lime) without altering how delicious and delicate this cake is. You can change the type of nut you use; you could even add in some dry fruits or chocolate buttons. The base of this cake recipe is versatile and therefore you can tailor it to what ingredients you have at home or what's in season.
To add to the delight of this cake, you don’t require fancy equipment, culinary background knowledge or too much time, yet it impresses even the most discerning of tastes! It works every time and makes for a perfect cake when you have guests popping over unexpectedly and keeps very well so it’s perfect for a mid-week treat!
Using delicious Willunga Almonds for this recipe really makes it so much more special. The decision of being able to choose weather or not your almonds are roasted is made so much easier when using local ingredients grown with love. The taste that carries through the cake is a nod to the Fleurieu Peninsula and I am truly honored to be able to share this recipe with the local community.