Ricotta Orange Pound Cake

I always have a container of ricotta cheese in my fridge just in case I want to make a baked ziti, a cheesecake or something or other. Unfortunately what ends up happening is, it sits in my fridge, I know it’s there, but I don’t get around to using it until it’s about to expire and then I’m scrambling to make something because I don’t want to throw it out. When this recently happened I decided to make something I made a few years ago, but didn’t come out quite right the first time… a Ricotta Orange Pound Cake. This cake has a nice orange taste and is quite moist thanks to the ricotta cheese.

Ricotta Orange Pound Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups cake flour*

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 orange, zested

2 tablespoons amaretto

*If you don’t have cake flour, use this method to substitute with all-purpose flour and cornstarch.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan with butter, or spray with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend.

With a mixer, cream together the ricotta cheese, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Add the vanilla, zest and amaretto and beat until well combined. Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, and mix until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. If you find you need to bake it a little longer, you may want to lower the temperature of the oven to ensure that you don’t burn the cake. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Food Network

Ricotta Pound Cake

Hey Everyone! So, I took a bit of a break from blogging, but, not from baking and crafting. If you follow me on Instagram or if you look down on the right hand side of this page you can see what I was up to during the holidays. How has the New Year been treating you? Hopefully good thus far. And for those of you who make resolutions, how’s it going? I may have mentioned this before, but, I don’t make resolutions. The way I see it, every day is a good day to set a goal or to make a change. So, for my first post of the New Year I bring you a Ricotta Pound Cake. Yeah, I know not too exciting, but, definitely a yummy treat nonetheless. It came about because I had about 2 cups of ricotta cheese in my fridge that was about to expire and I didn’t want to throw out.

This was a quick and easy pound cake to make. In one bowl I sifted together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) and in the bowl of my stand mixer I creamed together the ricotta, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla bean paste before incorporating the flour mixture into the mix. I then poured the batter into a 9-inch loaf pan that I sprayed with baking spray and baked it in a preheated oven for about 50 minutes.

And after letting it cool on a wire rack…

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It was time to slice it and enjoy! This cake is definitely good for any time of the day… If you’re not into your typical breakfast foods it’s a nice accompaniment to your morning coffee or tea, as an afternoon snack or for dessert after dinner.

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Ricotta Pound Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cake flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract*

*I used vanilla bean paste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prep a 9-inch loaf pan by spraying it with baking spray or by greasing and flouring it.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, or in large bowl to using a hand mixer, cream together the butter, ricotta and the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next one. Add the vanilla.

On low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture. Once added, mix the batter for 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the batter.

Bake the cake on the center rack for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 325 F and bake for an additional 25-60 minutes. It will all depend on how wet the ricotta cheese is. The cake will be done when it springs back from touch and has slightly pulled away from the pan sides and a cake tested come out clean.

Cool the cake inside the pan for 15 minutes, before removing and letting it cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

Recipe from Epicurious

Almond Pound Cake

I pretty much love anything made with almonds…Danishes, croissants, cookies, cakes, milk, etc. And of course almond themselves are wonderful to snack on. Their health benefits are pretty vast. To name a few… they are a great source of Vitamin E, they are packed with protein, they are gluten free and snacking on them can help curb other cravings. So, when I had half a pack of Odense Almond Paste left over from a previous recipe I knew I had to put it to good use and what better use than an Almond Pound Cake… something simple but yet so satisfying.

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To begin I beat 2 sticks of butter until they were creamy, then gradually added in 2 cups of sugar and continued beating the mixture until it was light and fluffy. I then added in an 8 oz. package of cream cheese, vanilla extract and the almond paste, which I crumbled.

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Following that I added in 6 eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

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And finally I added in 2 cups of flour that I whisked together with baking powder and salt. I beat the batter until it was well blended and then stirred the mixture a few times with a rubber spatula to ensure all of the ingredients were well combined.

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I then poured it into a prepared tube pan. To prepare the pan I sprayed it with a baking spray that contains flour.

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After baking the cake in a 325 F preheated oven for 55 minutes it came out perfect and smelled amazing.

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I let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then removed it and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

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I couldn’t wait to slice it into it and I wasn’t disappointed. This was the perfect comfort dessert for the cold weather this winter has brought. It had the dense familiarity of a pound cake while still being moist and a hint of almond flavoring thanks to the almond paste.

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Almond Pound Cake – Adapted from here

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 8oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature

4 oz. almond paste, crumbled

1 tsp, vanilla extract*

6 eggs, at room temperature

2 cups flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp, salt

*For an extra dose of almond flavor use almond extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease and flour (or spray with a baking spray that includes flour) a fluted tube or tube pan.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, almond paste and vanilla extract and beat for another minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well blended.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Comfort Desserts

It’s been about a month since I last posted and it’s not for the lack of baking, beading or knitting. I did a bunch of baking for a friend’s birthday earlier this month but stuck to treats that were among his favorite and ones that I have blogged about before- my newly discovered pumpkin doughnuts, mini chocolate-chip cheesecakes and a strawberry shortcake birthday cake. As for knitting, I recently completed two scarves which I plan to post about soon – a ruffle scarf for a friend and a cowl neck for myself. I liked the ruffle scarf so much I am planning on making one for myself. And finally beading, after about a four month hiatus I finally picked up some beading needles and started making jewelry again. But in between all of that I did try out two recipes for what I like to call comfort desserts – a pound cake and a rice pudding. I know rice pudding is not most people’s cup of tea when it comes to desserts, but it has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. Both of these recipes are super easy to follow and turn out some delicious treats.

Grandma’s Pound Cake

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 Minutes

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

6 eggs

Directions:

Heat oven to 350ºF.

Mix flour and baking powder; set aside. Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each until blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until blended.

Pour into 12-cup fluted tube or 10-inch tube pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 min. Loosen cake from sides of pan with knife. Invert cake onto wire rack; gently remove pan. Cool cake completely.

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Arborio Rice Pudding

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 cup water

pinch of salt

1/2 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup Arborio rice

2 cups whole milk

4 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Few dashes ground cinnamon

Whipped cream, for serving

Directions:

Bring water, salt, and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, return to a boil, and then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Shake the pan occasionally and cook until rice has absorbed the water but it still al dente, about 15 minutes.

Bring milk, sugar, vanilla, and a few dashes of cinnamon to a simmer in a separate saucepan. Add the cooked rice and cook at a simmer over medium-low heat until rice absorbs most of the milk and mixture starts to get thick and silky, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer pudding to a large bowl and cool to room temperature. Place in refrigerator until cool and set. Serve with whipped cream and a dash more cinnamon.

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Enjoy!

Vanilla Pound Cake

Dinner at a friend’s house last week meant trying out a new recipe for me. I decided to keep it simple and bake a simple Vanilla Pound Cake from Martha Stewart.

The recipe consisted of ingredients I already had on hand: butter, flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and salt.

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I started by beating the butter and sugar together on a high speed until the mixture was light and fluffy.

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Following that I added in each of the eggs one at a time.

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After the four eggs were added and mixed in well I then added in the vanilla extract and salt.

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I then switched my mixer to a lower speed and gradually added in the flour until the batter was just coming together.

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It was then ready to spread into my prepared pan – I sprayed it with baking spray.

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After baking in a 350 degree preheated oven for just shy of an hour it was ready to come out of the oven. I let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes…

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And then removed it from the pan and allowed it to cool completely.

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While the cake looked good I had a feeling that it was going to be on the dry side since the sides were a little dark and since dinner was rescheduled at the last minute I opted to bake another cake and make some tweaks to the directions. First off, the recipe called for a 6-cup loaf pan (8 1/2 inches x 4 1/2 inches) but since I didn’t have that size I just used what I had which was a 9 1/4 inches x 5 1/4 inches pan I had a feeling that this slight disparity in loaf pan size may have had something to do with the baking time and the oven temperature. So, for the second I decided to lower the temperature to 325 degrees and then baked the cake for approximately 50 minutes which was still a little long I found, but, produced a cake that was lighter in color and definitely moister. I definitely think you need the 6-cup loaf pan to make the most of this recipe. Next time I want to bake a simple pound cake I think I will go with Martha Stewart’s Classic Pound Cake recipe. The only reason I didn’t bake it this time was because it produced two cakes as opposed to one… In hindsight though I probably should have just gone with that one since I ended up baking two cakes anyway.

Vanilla Pound Cake

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 6-cup (8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch) loaf pan; set aside

2. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined (do not overmix).

3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour (tent with aluminum foil if browning too quickly). Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack, and turn upright to cool completely.

Sour Cream – Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

This past week I went to dinner at a friend’s house and offered to bring dessert. I decided to bring a pound cake of some sort and remembered that I had a cookbook with different variations of the traditional pound cake. I tend to get cookbooks, mark off a few recipes that I like but then seem to never make them. Cookbooks are not my first go-to when I want to make something new and different. I got this recipe from Elizabeth Alston’s Best Baking cookbook which offers numerous recipes for pound cakes, angel food cakes, chiffon cakes, coffee cakes and tea breads.

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To start off here are the ingredients: sugar, cinnamon, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, eggs, sour cream, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour and semi-sweet chocolate-chips.
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I began by preheating my oven to 325 degrees and prepping my loaf pan by spraying it with baking spray, lining it with aluminum foil so that it would hang over the sides for easy removal of the cake and then spraying the foil with more baking spray. I also made the topping of the cake by mixing 2 tbsp. of the sugar with 1/4 tsp. of the cinnamon. I set these two things aside then and got to making the cake.
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I started making the batter by mixing together the butter, which should be at room temperature but I took a short-cut on this and warmed it up in the microwave for about 15 – 20 seconds, and the sugar. Unfortunately I wasn’t at home while making this cake so I didn’t have the advantage of using my stand mixer but my hand mixer works just as well with double, or maybe triple, the time. I mixed the butter and sugar until the mixture was pale and fluffy, per the directions.
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Next I beat in the four eggs one at a time.
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Following that I added in the sour cream, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the remaining cinnamon.
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And then I added in the flour. Up to this point the batter was pretty smooth and thinned out but once I added in the flour it became quite thick and heavy.
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Once the flour was incorporated I stirred in the chocolate chips.
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I then spread the batter out evenly in my prepared pan and sprinkled the cinnamon sugar mixture on top and put in the oven.
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My baking time was off in comparison to the directions. According to the directions it should take about 70 minutes, but, after 70 minutes my cake was still not fully cooked in the middle so I lowered the temperature to 300 and baked it for an additional 15 fifteen minutes which did the trick. After letting it cool in the pan for thirty minutes I removed it from the pan and let it cool for another hour or two on the wire rack. I was thinking that the cinnamon-sugar mixture was actually going to be bake into the cake but it just seemed to sit on top which I wasn’t too happy about. After it was fully cooled I wrapped it airtight and let it sit at room temperature for optimal flavor, per the directions. This actually helped the cinnamon sugar topping sink into the cake a little which was good.
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I would make this again but I would lower the oven temperature so that it could bake longer without sacrificing the moisture of the cake. While the cake was good I found it to be a bit dry and I am sure that had to do with the extra baking time.
Sour Cream – Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
From Best Baking by Elizabeth Alston
1 cup plus 4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tsps. ground cinnamon
14 Tbsps. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tsps. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/3 cup sour cream
1 Tsp. baking powder
1/4 Tsp. baking soda
1/4 Tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
9 x 5 x 3 – Inch Loaf Pan
Heat the oven to 325F. Grease the pan and line with foil; letting it hang over the sides. Grease the foil.
Mix 2 tablespoons of the sugar with 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and set aside to use for the topping.
Beat the butter, the remaining 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and the vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed, until pale and fluffy.
Reduce the speed to medium. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each.
Beat in the sour cream, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon. Scrape the sides of the bowl often.
With the mixer on low, stir in the flour until nearly incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and stir until the batter is well mixed.
Spread the batter (6 1/2 cups) in the pan (the pan will be very full). Sprinkle the reserved cinnamon sugar over the top. (It will look like too much topping, but it isn’t.)
Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Life the cake from the pan by the foil. Let cool completely on the wire rack. Remove the foil. For best flavor, wrap airtight, being careful not to disturb the sugar topping more than necessary, and store 1 day at room temperature before serving or freezing.