I have never attempted a ricotta cheesecake before - what a winner to start with. It's from Julie Le Clerc's Favourite Cakes (Penguin Books, 2011). She created the recipe from memory after tasting a ricotta cake in Rome. It's indulgent and rich, no doubt about that, but the addition of citrus peel and almonds cuts through the cheese and chocolate.

Base and topping:
1 1/2 c flour (I used spelt)
1/2 c ground almonds
1/3 c coconut sugar (hence the dark colour; use caster sugar if you want a yellower base)
2 tsp baking powder
125g butter, chopped
1 egg

800g ricotta
3/4 c caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
100g dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 c slivered almonds
50g candied peel, chopped
Extra peel to decorate or icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180C. Line and grease a 22cm round springform cake tin.

Mix flour, ground almonds, sugar and baking powder in a food processor. Add butter and blitz until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg and mix to just combine. Place half the mixture into the base of the cake tin and press down to spread evenly.

In a large bowl mix the ricotta, sugar, vanilla and eggs until smooth, either with a spoon or electric mixer. Stir in chocolate, almonds and peel. Pour into cake tin and crumble the rest of the pastry mixture evenly on top.

Bake for 75 min until firm in the centre. Allow to cool completely in the tin, placed on a wire rack.

Remove from tin and place on your serving plate. Decorate with candied peel or just a dusting of icing sugar. Best served with some yoghurt I think.

Will keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.