lemon and prosecco cake

cooking for others is one of the things i love doing most. thinking about what flavours people like and how to create an experience that makes people feel loved and indulged is an absolute favourite thing for me to do.

last week we had friends round – some who i see all the time, some very rarely and some who i barely know – and everything worked so well. 

pudding was my favourite part of the meal – this lemon and prosecco cake which i served with stewed rhubarb and crème fraiche. it’s made with prosecco which instantly makes it feel celebratory and gives it an incredibly light texture. which is just as well, given what else we ate – more of which later…

gennaro contaldo's torta di limone e prosecco

6 eggs, separated

100g sugar

3 tablespoons olive oil

150ml prosecco

finely grated zest of 3 lemons, and juice of 1

150g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ a teaspoon vanilla essence (i missed this out and don’t think the cake suffered as a result)

icing sugar for dusting

lightly grease with butter and dust with flour a 24cm round cake tin (i used two 20cm tins which was fine). preheat the oven to 180°c.

place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat with a metal whisk until creamy. beat in the olive oil, prosecco, lemon zest and juice. then gently beat in the flour, baking powder and vanilla.

in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture.

pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 mins (15 if using smaller tins). reduce the temperature to 150°c and continue to bake for a further 20 minutes. switch off the oven, open the door, and leave to cool (tip - this way the cake will not collapse as much, as it will have time to cool in the warmth of the cooling oven).                                                              

remove, place on a plate & sprinkle with sieved icing sugar.