Orange Ricotta Poundcake

adapted from Gina DePalma's Dolce Italiano

1 1/2 cups cake flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 fine salt

6oz/ 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta, room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

zest of 1 large tangelo or two tangerines

1 vanilla bean

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 tsp dark rum

 

Orange Glaze:

1 cup orange marmalade

 

If using store bought ricotta, put a little more than needed in a fine sieve or a sieve with a coffee filter inside. Let the ricotta drain while you gather all of your ingredients. This can be done ahead of time in the fridge. You don't want the ricotta to look really wet, but do not drain it so long that all moisture is lost. how much you drain will depend ont the ricotta you use. If you make your own you won't need to drain at all, but store bought will need at least 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Make sure oven rack is in the centre of the oven.

Grease a 4 mini loaf pans with butter then line the bottom and two sides with one piece of parchment paper with a couple inches hanging over each side.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

Place sugar in a medium bowl. Using a micro-plane grater, zest the orange over the sugar. Split the vanilla bean with the tip of a knife running it along the length of it. Using the back of the knife scrape the seeds into the sugar mixture. Use this technique to extract all of the essential oils by rubbing together the zest and vanilla seeds into the sugar. This will also extract maximum amount of vanilla flavour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and cheese about 2 minutes on medium speed until smooth and light. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition. Beat in rum. On low speed add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed ONLY until dry ingredients are incorporated.

Pour batter into pan, smoothing top. It will look quite full. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, then lower temperature to 325 and continue baking until well browned, cake springs back a bit when poked and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. This should be another 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in  the pan, loosen un papered side with a knife and then carefully lift  the cake out of the pan with the parchment flaps.

 

Prepare the glaze:

Warm marmalade in microwave or small saucepan over med low heat. Heat so that it melts. Strain the peels from the marmalade and use the jelly to glaze the cakes on all sides. This can be done while the cakes are still warm. This glaze will add more lovely orange flavour and will help to keep the cake moist. If you plan on freezing any of them, so not glaze them, but rather wait to glaze them when you defrost them.

This cake keeps 3-4 days or can be frozen, unglazed, for 2 months, well wrapped.

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