Thursday, May 15, 2014

Decadent Orange Ricotta Cake

I had quite a bit of oranges left from my Saucy Mama challenge last week and had a serious sweet tooth to boot. I remembered the ricotta cheese in my fridge and before I knew it, I was prepping my loaf pan for a variation of Mike's Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake. It's creamy. Oh so creamy! And for those who think the consistency of ricotta is grainy, you won't find that in this sweet little confection. It's a cake that almost reminds me of a flan. It's simple to put together and I think you'll enjoy making it and eating it- especially with the orange/sugar glaze that seeps into the cake and the strawberry/orange sauce that just puts it a little over the edge. Plus there's no waste when it comes to the oranges- you'll use the zest, flesh and juice. Enough talk, let's get cooking.

Orange Ricotta Cake
9 x 5 inch loaf pan

1-1/2 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cups unsalted butter at room temp
1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese (I used the lower fat)
1-1/2 cups sugar (I used Splenda no calorie)
3 large eggs at room temp
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Dash of orange extract (optional)

1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Juice of orange that you used for the zest

Orange Strawberry Sauce
16 oz strawberries diced
Zest of 2 oranges
Supremed orange slices from the 2 oranges
Juice of both oranges
1/4 cup water
1 T sugar or Splenda

Prepare loaf pan with cooking spray and pre heat your oven to 350 degrees. In medium size bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix ingredients with whisk or fork and set aside.

In large bowl cream your softened butter. I do not have a stand mixer and find that my small hand mixer works fine. Add your sugar (or Splenda) in a few batches and beat until creamy and light. Now add the ricotta and combine to the mix. Add 1 egg at a time until all 3 have been incorporated. Now add the zest, and extracts.

When all the yummy wet ingredients are mixed well add the dry ingredients. I do this in two steps. And like most cakes, don't over beat. Combine until all ingredients are incorporated and there is no dry flour hanging around. Remember to scrape down the sides of your bowl a few times while mixing.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 15 minutes. Lower oven heat to 325 degrees and turn loaf pan 180 degrees. Bake another 45 minutes and your cake should be ready. Use the toothpick trick- if a toothpick inserted into the cooked cake comes out clean, you're cake is done. And don't throw away that toothpick because we'll be poking some mini holes in the cake. But first, let cake cool on cooling rack.

Remove from pan and continue to cool on rack. While cake is cooling, make your glaze by whisking together the confectioner's sugar and juice of zested orange.

When the cake is easy to handle, transfer to plate and poke as many holes with your toothpick as you like. These holes are going to allow the sweet glaze to seep into the cake to make it even richer and creamier than you ever imagined.

With holes adequately poked, take a spoon and drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake. Let some of it sink in and repeat. And repeat and repeat until all the glaze is used up.

I let my cake sit overnight carefully wrapped in plastic wrap with toothpicks standing guard on all sides.

As soon as I got home from work tonight I added the final touch, the orange strawberry sauce. Now this is easy. Take your diced strawberries, supremed oranges, sugar (or Splenda), water, zest and orange juice and place in a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil.

Lower heat and simmer until mixture concentrates and begins to thicken, about 15-20 minutes. Stir this sauce occasionally as the sugar likes to try and stick to the pan.

Let the sauce cool and plate your dessert and sauce.

The addition of a dab of whipped cream would have been nice on top of the sauce, but darn it again, I didn't have any cream in the fridge. When I make this little bit of decadence again, you can be sure I will have some on hand.


Grandmereb Lovestobake said...

Omg! I wanttttt someeeee!!!!

DeeDee2012 said...

Linda, You know I've got to give this a try and SOON! Thanks for sharing!

Linda said...

I hope you give this little bit of decadence a try ladies. I think what made it so creamy was the "toothpick poke method", I've never done that before. Brought it in to work today and saved one piece for myself. Wish I wasn't so generous:)

Linda said...

I hope you give this little bit of decadence a try ladies. I think what made it so creamy was the "toothpick poke method", I've never done that before. Brought it in to work today and saved one piece for myself. Wish I wasn't so generous:)

Tracie said...

Linda you are becoming famous for your ricotta cakes! What a Devine creation! YUMMM!

Linda said...

Thanks Tracie, I see you figured out how to post on this site. Glad for both of us. I'm happy to be known for ricotta cakes, need to figure out a coconut one next. I think it's a great way of getting protein into your desserts. loveya