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
½ tsp baking soda
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 ½ tbsp vanilla
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp (1 ¾ sticks) butter
1 ½ cups plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided
2 ¼ tsp salt
Zest of 1 orange
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 2/1 cups cranberries, divided
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round by 3-inch tall cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, which 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.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, 1 ½ cups sugar, salt and zest. Mix just until thoroughly combined, do not overmix.
4. With the mixer running, slowly incorporate the egg mixture into the butter just until combined.
5. With the mixer on low speed, add one-half of the flour mixture to the batter and quickly mix for 5 seconds. Turn off the mixer and add the rest of the flour, the ricotta and one-half of the cranberries. Mix the remaining ingredients into the batter over low speed just until combined, being careful not to overmix.
6. Gently pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top. Scatter the remaining cranberries over the top of the cake, and sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp sugar.
7. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Place a loose piece of foil over the top of the cake if it starts to darken. Cook the cake on a wire rack before removing it from pan.
I didn’t get around to acquiring 9 in cake pan just yet, so I used an 8 inch one – I realized I needed 2 of them to make the batter fit. I baked for about an hour, not the indicated time, but I advise checking on the cake after about 45 minutes.