22 hours ago
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Here's your Christmas Cake.
It has everything you need to celebrate the season.
Fresh cranberries, ricotta cheese, cornmeal and maple syrup with a load of butter, makes for a luxurious and beautiful cake w/ a nice crumb texture (from the cornmeal).
It's an interesting mix of ingredients, and my kind of cake. Not too sweet, and a bit tart, the perfect breakfast cake, and it's a big one too. Feeds a crowd.
Lisa and Wednesday Chef have made this cake, so I was next in line (4 years later!).
I usually shy away from heavy butter cakes, but it's the holidays, celebrate and enjoy.
Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Cake with Ricotta
Adapted from pastry chef Zoe Nathan of Rustic Canyon via LA Times
2 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1 3/4 sticks butter (I only used 1 1/2 sticks because I was afraid!)
1 1/2 cups sugar (plus more for the top)
1 tsp salt
Zest of 1 orange
2 cups ricotta cheese (I used a 15 oz. container)
2 cups fresh cranberries, divided
Heat the oven to 375F degrees. Grease a 9-inch round by 3-inch tall cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. I used my 9" springform pan. This is a big cake and puffs up high, so make sure you have 3" on the sides of the pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, oil and vanilla. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and zest. Add the ricotta mixture, and mix just until thoroughly combined; do not overmix.
With the mixer running, slowly incorporate the egg mixture into the butter until just combined.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top. Scatter the remaining cranberries over the top of the cake, and sprinkle with some sugar on top. (I mixed all the cranberries into the batter, because I didn't want to have puckered lips when I bit into the cake!).
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
I needed to place a loose piece of foil over the top of the cake after 1 hour, because it was getting too dark.
Cool the cake on a wire rack before removing it from the pan.
Best served the day after you bake it.
You can leave this plain if you are a purist, or dust it with confectioner's sugar, however, I opted for icing and maple whipped cream on the side!