Serves approximately 8
• 3 eggs
• 175 g (6 oz) butter
• 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
• zest of 3 unwaxed lemons
• 250 g (9 oz) ricotta cheese
• 125 g (4.5 oz) self-raising flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 2 punnets of raspberries
• 280 ml (10 fl. oz) double cream, whipped
1 Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas mark 3, and grease and lightly flour a 7″ inch cake tin,
3″ inches high.
2 Separate the egg yolks from the whites.
3 Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
4 Grate the zest of the 3 lemons and add to the butter and sugar mixture. Then gradually add the egg yolks and ricotta, beat until very smooth.
5 Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff.
6 Fold the egg whites, sieved flour and baking powder into the egg and sugar mixture. Then spoon the finished mixture into the cake tin and place in the oven for 35 minutes.
7 Remove the cake from the tin and leave it to rest and cool for 1 hour.
8 Serve with fresh raspberries and whipped double cream.
EVER WONDERED ABOUT FOOD
To make butter from cream, put some double cream in a jar with a marble and shake in a figure-of-eight motion. Suddenly the cream will become thick and you won’t be able to feel the marble moving any more. Soon after, butter will form.
Drain off the watery part (the buttermilk), which you can drink, then wash the butter with cold water in a sieve. Pack it down into a small dish and store in the fridge. Cream is a fat-in-water emulsion. The fat droplets are kept in suspension by the milk protein. Shaking the cream encourages the fat droplets to coalesce and then separate from the watery part.
Cheese is made from three principal ingredients: milk, rennet enzymes and microbes. The rennet enzymes curdle the milk, and the microbes acidify and flavour the milk. All three influence the character and quality of the cheese.
It was the Romans who described the art of cheese making in detail and the Roman legions were instrumental in spreading the art of cheese making throughout Europe.
In modern production, nearly all cheese is pasteurised to eliminate disease and spoilage bacteria. But in France, Switzerland and Italy traditional cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, Comte, Emmental, Gruyère and Parmesan require unpasteurised milk. This is because pasteurisation kills milk bacteria and inactivates many of the milk’s own enzymes which ultimately flavour the cheese.
EVER WONDERED ABOUT FOOD
What cows are fed influences the milk and therefore the taste and texture of the final cheese. Cows fed with fresh grass, wild clover and unspoilt meadows produce different cheese compared to those fed on compacted feed, silage, turnips and straw.