The combination makes the cake moist and flavoursome but reduces the fat content as compared to using butter or margarine and the calorie content is low as no sugar is added directly to the cake batter.
So in this instance, you really can have your cake and feel good about eating it!
Plum, Almond and Ricotta CakeServes: 10
Ingredients:250g (9 1/2 oz) pot ricotta cheese
140g (5 oz) butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
225g (8 oz) self-raising flour
200g (7 oz) ground almonds
4 tbsp plum jam or apricot jam
5 plums, quartered
handful of flaked almonds, toasted
icing sugar, for dusting
Method:Beat together the ricotta cheese, butter, eggs and sugar in a bowl then fold in the flour and ground almonds. Spoon half the batter into a greased and lined 23cm diameter cake tin. Evenly dot the jam over the centre then cover with the remaining batter.
Arrange the plum quarters attractively over the top then sprinkle over the additional sugar. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for about 90 minutes, or until the cake is nicely risen and golden brown and the plums have shrivelled and caramelized.
Allow the cake to cook in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Scatter the flaked almonds over the top, dust with the icing sugar and serve cut into slices.