Sicilian Lemon, Almond and Ricotta Cake

Meet Sabrina Sterk!

Sabrina is a woman of many different passions and pursuits! She is either deep in an extravagant art project or in the mixing bowl in the kitchen whipping up a delicious meal. Byron Bay, Australia is where she currently calls home however travels are on her horizon and I was so grateful to have had the chance to get to know Sabrina and share all of her bountiful interests with you all. 


What is inspiring you at the moment?

 Wow big question – let’s just say….: Robert Morris L-Beams, 80’s sci-fi, Phyllida Barlow, Isamu Noguchi, Valentine Schlegal interiors, 60’s fashion, Nils Frahms’ melodic music, Liberace’s flamboyance, yoga, andddddd flowers (especially jasmine and gardenia’s which are in season at the moment).


Where did your passion for food and cooking come from?

My European parents! Both mother and father never were a fan of ‘packet’ / pre-packaged food, meaning almost everything was made from scratch. They taught me to cook from a young age, and introduced me to not only European flavours but also other exotic cuisines. My mother put particular emphasis on eating for health and longevity, teaching me about the importance of organic produce and incorporating tonic herbs and fermented products into the everyday diet. Balance is key!  


Is there one go to dish that you absolutely love? 

I love pizza (food snob style pizza, aka quality dough and basic but really good toppings), but I always eat that out. Otherwise it’s a home cooked roast chook in the oven with vegetables on the side. 


As an artist as well as a chef, do these two passions influence each other in any way? 

Most definitely! There is an art to cooking, a touch, a certain type of delicateness one needs to prepare and serve food. I do believe this dextrousness and attention to detail is what both artist and chef must behold. Also, I love colour on my plate, perhaps that’s why I almost always incorporate edible blooms onto my plates! 


Sicilian Lemon, Almond and Ricotta Cake

"Holy moly me oh, this was moist, light and damn delicious. I’m currently obsessing over lemon flavours - so this cake which uses the zest of 4 lemons was just up my alley. I served it warm with a bit of yoghurt but cream would also be very delicious on top. I based the recipe off on one traditional one passed down to me, but I modified it to have a little less sugar. I think it could have used another egg for texture but it was still yum without. Enjoy friends!"

2.5 cups almonds flour

2 cups ricotta

3 eggs (maybe try one more ?!) 

Zest of 4 lemons 

1/2 cup rapdura sugar

+ handful almond flakes for topping 

Preheat the oven to 170C and grease/ line a cake tin with baking paper. 

In a large bowl, beat (using electric mixer) the almond meal, ricotta, zest, eggs and sugar until wee combined. Pour batter into cake tin then sprinkle with almond flakes (I used chopped almonds). Bake for 50 or so minutes or until cooked through. Test with a skewer. While the cake cooks, prepare a syrup! 

In a small pot, heat 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar - stirring on high until sugar has dissolved. Once the cake has cooked through, prick a few holes in it using a skewer then pour this syrup over the cake. 

Serve warm with cream or yoghurt

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