Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 cup fat-free buttermilk
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add rind; beat to combine. Add egg and egg white, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine buttermilk and ricotta, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare filling, place 1 cup powdered sugar and cream cheese in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add 2 teaspoons orange juice, and beat to combine. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
To prepare glaze, combine 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice, stirring well with a whisk.
Split cooled cake in half horizontally using a serrated knife; place bottom layer, cut side up, on a plate. Spread filling over cake layer. Top with remaining cake layer, cut side down. Spread glaze over cake.
I made this for Christmas Eve and it was GREAT!! and very easy. I subbed triple sec for the orange juice to add a little more intense flavor. The glaze needed more than 1 1/2 tablespoons liquid to get it to spread and drip down the sides. It should have started with more powdered sugar as well because the top looked thin when I spread the glaze to the edges so it would drip down the sides.
Wow, this is a great cake! It's more of an Italian-style cake--crumbly, scented, delicate--than a thick moist American cake. My only changes were to skip the glaze in favor of a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side and to use orange liqueur (Cointreau--expensive, but no Triple Sec in the house) to soak the dried cranberries and as an addition (2 tsp) to the cream cheese filling. I also did not cool the cream cheese filling; it was easy to drizzle evenly onto the split cake and I think it might be a lot harder to spread it on when cool. This was a perfect ending to a birthday dinner featuring chicken piccata and spinach fetuccini with an artichoke salad. Very sophisticated, as the CL article says!
We put a little gran marnier on the dried cranberries to soften them up a little before adding them to the batter. (A reviewer stated they couldn't image using dried instead of fresh, so this was what we did.) Cake turned out wonderful with a lot of orange flavor -- be sure to put in good orange peel and don't skimp. We put orange slices on top for a pretty presentation.
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