11 hours ago
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Christmas is long gone, and there are no more birthdays or anniversaries to celebrate this month.
It's just a boring winter day.
I feel like baking a big festive cake, just because.
I bought a bag of frozen cherries from Trader Joe's months ago, waiting for a winter baking day like this, thankful to find that bag in the back of my freezer.
This recipe is a riff on that popular Cranberry Cornmeal Ricotta Christmas Cake that I made for the holidays years ago.
I swapped out the cranberries for the frozen cherries, and added almond extract instead of vanilla.
Note: this is a BIG cake, so make certain you have the right cake tin. This works best in a 9" springform pan with minimum 3" sides.
If you have some ricotta cheese in the fridge and a bag of frozen fruit hiding in there, make this lovely cake.
Cherry Cornmeal Ricotta Cake:
2 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 sticks butter (1 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups sugar (plus more for the top)
1 tsp salt
zest of 1 orange
2 cups ricotta cheese (I used a 16 oz. container)
1 bag of frozen cherries (do not defrost them or they will be runny in the batter)
Preheat oven to 375F.
Grease a 9" cake tin, or a cake pan with at least 3" high sides, and line the bottom with a parchment paper round.
Mix the dry ingredients and then incorporate the eggs, ricotta, butter, sugar and zest.
You can do this with a mixer, or with your muscles.
Add in the frozen cherries last.
Using a rubber spatula, plop the batter into the pan and spread to fill pan.
The baking time will depend on the size of your pan.
I baked the cake for 50 minutes at 375F, then turned the oven down to 350F for another 20 minutes.
So, an hour and 10 minutes, total. If your cake is getting too brown, cover with foil.
Let rest in the tin for about 10 minutes, then unmold the springform latch.
Make an icing with a cup of confectioner's sugar mixed w/ a tablespoon of orange juice and drizzle over the cake while still warm.
This is dense, moist and delicious cake.
Great for a celebration or just because you feel like baking........as I often do!!