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Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then mix in the ricotta, egg yolks, thyme and mustard powder. Slowly drizzle in the milk and beat to make a smooth mixture. Season well with salt and lots of black pepper.
Melt half the butter in a large frying pan. When it starts to foam, put in the bacon rashers and fry until crisp.While the bacon is cooking, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and form soft peaks, then fold into the ricotta mixture in batches with a large metal spoon, keeping in as much air as possible.
When the bacon is crisp, lift it out, drain well on kitchen paper and keep warm. Cook the hot cakes in the same pan over a low heat, allowing about 2 tbsp mixture for each cake and doing them in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Add little knobs of butter as you go and take care to keep the heat low so the butter doesn’t burn. The hot cakes should be firm and golden at the end, and this will take about 2 minutes on each side. When each batch is cooked, transfer to a plate and keep warm. (At this stage they can be frozen, but allow to cool first.)