Monday, 16 July 2012

Orange Ricotta Cake

Funny story.  I had made this early afternoon in a springform pan.  Well, I poured the batter in, I picked it up, and it was all fine!  Then in that brief distance between the countertop where the pan laid and the oven, which was no more than 2, 3 footsteps away, the bottom of the springform pan fell through and my would've-been-soon-to-be-cake fell flat down to the ground.  Fortunately it didn't splash everywhere and it didn't make too much of a mess, but it was still heartbreaking.  It wasn't that I slaved away for it, I mean, it was simple procedures that took less than 20 minutes in total, that didn't matter.  It was all the ingredients that I had wasted.  Maybe it would've been worse if I was working with saffron and caviar, the ingredients weren't expensive, but still.  There are people starving in the world.
So later in the day I made another one.  In a different cake tin.  It was all good.  It's actually a very thin batter, and it made an incredibly soft and moist and spongy cake.  Do give it a try, ricotta gives it a really nice texture, trust me.  Even my mother loved it, which if you have read my previous posts you'd know that that's rather impressive.

Candied Orange Peel
2 oranges
1 cup sugar

130g cake flour
8g baking powder
3 eggs
170g sugar
80g ricotta
juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Candied Orange Peel
Cut the rind and the white pith from oranges in large strips.  Trim off any flesh still clinging onto the strips.  Place them in a small sauce pan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, drain, and repeat the process again with cold water.
Put the sugar with 2 cups of water in a sauce pan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.  Add the orange strips and bring to a boil, then bring the heat down and let it simmer, partially covered, for about an hour or until the water becomes syrupy.  Take out the orange peels and cut them into thin strips, then put them back in the syrup.  Reserve.  This can be made a few days ahead.

Preheat the oven to 180C.  Butter and flour a cake tin.
Mix the flour with the baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and foamy, then beat in the ricotta.  When all is mixed well, add the orange zest and juice and the oil. Put in the cake tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes.   Top with orange strips and syrup.

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