As the days are getting shorter, and citrus fruits rapidly replacing summer fruits at the stores, I felt it’s time for a comforting orange flavored cake, and the result was the following quick and easy “all in one bowl” cake.
Starting with creamed butter, sugar, orange zest and juice, I decided to add ricotta cheese to the mix, as it gives a wonderful moist texture to cakes. To that, I also added a small amount of orange marmalade, which enhanced the orange flavor and aroma, and spiced it all with vanilla and cardamom powder. To top it all, a bit of pearl sugar was sprinkled over the batter, which added a slight crunchy bite.
The cake turned out very moist and fragrant, and is just perfect for serving with tea or coffee on the side. Try it and enjoy.
* If you prefer sweeter cake, increase the amount of sugar to 1½ cups.
* Pearl sugar is a special sugar that keeps its white color and shape while baking. It can be found in specialty stores or online.
Makes: 22-24 slices
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
1 stick (115 grams) butter, soft
1 cup sugar (see notes)
1 Tbs orange zest
4 L eggs, at room temperature
¼ cup orange marmalade
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp vanilla paste
½ cup fresh orange juice
14 oz (395 grams) ricotta cheese
1 2/3 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbs baking powder
¼ cup pearl sugar (see notes)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Brush 2 10” (25cm) loaf pans with a bit of the butter, and dust with flour. Keep in the fridge until using.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the butter, sugar and orange zest. Add the eggs and whisk again. Add the marmalade, cardamom and vanilla and whisk to combine.
3. Add the juice and ricotta cheese, and whisk again. Add the flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder, whisk briefly, then switch to a spatula. Do not over mix. Divide the batter into the prepared pans and sprinkle the pearl sugar on top.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top starts to brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out almost clean. Do not over bake; the cake should be moist. Place the pans over a rack and keep in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to serving plates.