This super light cheese cake has a sponge base and top and has a creamy filling with just a hint of ricotta. It makes a great little dessert after a heavy meal and goes well served with a few seasonal berries such as blackberries, cherries or strawberries, soaked in a little cherry brandy (marsaka).
This is a real favourite of mine. It can be served simply with a sprinkling of caster sugar, or with a fruit coulis. It is a very traditional cake and will be found throughout Eastern Europe, particularly in former parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire. I love making this cake because it is really simple. It really is a case of throwing everything in one big bowl and stirring, though not too aggressively. If you want, you can freeze the cake for up to one month, but I think it is best eaten fresh. It will keep in an air-tight container for three to five days.
150g caster sugar
2 drops of almond extract
1 drop of vanilla extract
75g ground almonds
40g plain flour
Grease 7-inch (17.5cm) tin
Cover base with greaseproof paper or silicone
Preheat oven to 180ºC (Gas Mark 4)
Cream together butter and sugar
Add almond and vanilla extract
Add eggs one at a time, each with a third of the ground almonds
Beat until fluffy
Sift flour and fold in
Put in over for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean
To prevent top of cake from burning, it may be necessary to cover with foil halfway through cooking
Cool and sprinkle with caster sugar if desired
Serve small portions as it is very rich!