- 4 free-range eggs, separated
- 250 g ricotta
- 1 cup yoghurt (or buttermilk)
- 6 T butter, melted
- 1 T lemon zest
- 180 g flour
- 1 t baking powder
- 1⁄2 t bicarbonate of soda
- 2 T sugar or xylitol
- Icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease a madeleine pan. If you don’t have a madeleine pan, use a muffin pan. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form, then set aside.
Combine the egg yolks, ricotta, yoghurt or buttermilk, butter, lemon zest and juice in a bowl.
Sift the remaining ingredients into the ricotta mixture and beat using a hand-mixer. Gently fold in the egg whites until combined.
Pour the batter into the greased tin until each mould is two-thirds full. (If using a muffin pan, fill 1⁄4 to halfway full so that you will have a thin “dipper” and not a muffin.)
Bake for 12–14 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly. Dust with icing sugar.
Cook's note: Those crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside little cakes beloved of Proust, madeleines are even lighter and spongier if you add ricotta – a twist on the classic that’ll have you eating them by the trayful.