Blood Orange Ricotta Cake

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
30 min
1 hr 10 min

One 10-inch cake; 16 to 18 servings

  • Ricotta Pound Cake:
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted but not hot
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup whole or skim-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice, strained
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Blood Orange Simple Syrup:
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup blood orange concentrate
  • Blood Orange Curd:
  • 1 gelatin sheet
  • 2 cups cool water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup blood orange concentrate
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Cranberry Orange Preserves:
  • 2 cups whole frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, strained
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Blood Orange Whipped Cream:
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • Scant 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • For the ricotta pound cake: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan with removable bottom with the melted butter and line the bottom with a 9-inch-diameter parchment paper round.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture is very thick and falls in heavy ribbons, about 7 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, ricotta, orange juice, and vanilla. Gently add the ricotta mixture to the egg mixture and whip just until blended.

  • Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the sifted ingredients to the batter, mixing just until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Do not over mix. If necessary, finish folding in the sifted ingredients by hand, using a rubber spatula.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and place on a rack in the center of the oven. Bake the cake until lightly browned on top, about 70 minutes. The cake is done when a knife blade inserted into the center comes out clean and when the top of the cake springs back lightly when touched.

  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, remove the cake from the pan and peel parchment paper from bottom of the cake. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap until ready to use. The Ricotta Pound Cake can be stored for up to 1 day at room temperature or in the freezer for up to 1 week.

  • For the blood orange simple syrup: Combine the sugar with 1/3 cup water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, pour into a clean bowl, and allow to cool. Once fully cooled, stir in the blood orange concentrate until combined. The Blood Orange Simple Syrup will keep for up to 7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  • For the blood orange curd: Soften the gelatin sheet in 2 cups cool water for 3 minutes. Combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar and both juices into a heatproof, nonreactive mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not allow the bowl to touch the water) and whisk together until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture begins to thicken into a custard, 5 to 7 minutes. If using a candy thermometer, cook to 170 to 180 degrees F. Whisk the butter. The curd should be smooth and homogenous.

  • Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatin and whisk the gelatin into the hot mixture until fully dissolved and combined. Remove the bowl from over the water and strain the curd through a medium-mesh sieve into a clean, nonreactive mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the curd and allow to cool in the refrigerator. The Blood Orange Curd can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  • For the cranberry orange preserves: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the cranberries and orange juice. The cranberries should still be in chunky pieces.

  • Combine the cranberry mixture with the corn syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stirring every 5 minutes, cook the mixture until it boils and thickens, 15 to 20 minutes. If using a candy thermometer, cook to approx. 210 degrees F.

  • Transfer to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator. The Cranberry Orange Preserves can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  • For the blood orange whipped cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together the cream and sugar until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the Blood Orange Curd until combined, being careful not to over mix, which could make the stiffened whipped cream weak. The Blood Orange Whipped Cream should be made when ready to assemble the cake.

  • To assemble the cake: In a small mixing bowl, gently fold together the raspberries and the Cranberry Orange Preserves until combined.

  • Place the unwrapped pound cake on a flat work surface. Using a long serrated knife, slice off the top 1/4-inch to even out the top of the cake as necessary. Slice the cake horizontally into 3 even layers.

  • Using a 10-inch round cake board as the bottom of a 10-by-3-inch round cake pan with removable bottom, center 1 cake layer on the cake board, cut side up. Using a pastry brush, moisten the cake layer with one-third of the Blood Orange Simple Syrup.

  • Measure out 1 1/2 cups of Blood Orange Whipped Cream and set aside to be used to frost the top of the cake. Using an offset spatula, spread half of the remaining Blood Orange Whipped Cream onto the syrup-soaked cake layer, allowing the whipped cream to fill up the space between the cake and the cake pan. Use a rubber spatula to gently but firmly press the whipped cream down in between the side of the cake pan and the cake layer, thus essentially forming the side of the cake. Spoon half of the raspberry-cranberry preserves mixture onto the Blood Orange Whipped Cream, gently pressing the berries onto the cream.

  • Top with a second layer of pound cake and repeat with another one-third of the simple syrup, the other half of the remaining Blood Orange Whipped Cream, and remaining raspberry-cranberry preserves mixture. Top with the final layer of cake and moisten with the remaining Blood Orange Simple Syrup. Using a long, flat spatula, evenly spread the reserved 1 1/2 cups Blood Orange Whipped Cream over the top of the cake. Tightly wrap the cake in the pan in plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight.

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