Some evenings, before I tuck myself into bed for a goodnights slumber, I will tuck away a baked good into a carrying case, snug as a bug in a rug, for my co-workers to dive into the following morning. Often, there is but one piece missing – the one that I carefully cut away to snap a few pictures of while standing on a chair/desk/stool making sure to keep my toes out of the viewfinder. A piece that I enjoy after dinner with a bit of coffee or perhaps tea …
And then there are some mornings where I awake and find a note next to a near empty carrying case and a few stray crumbs … a note scribbled stating- ‘Sorry babe, don’t hate me…I was hungry and this cake is so GOOD!’.
So, now I pack up a baked good and leave my own note…’don’t eat this or I will kill you…there are granola bars in the pantry, eat those…they are on the third shelf, next to the beans…’ – I have found you need to be exact with the location since he is looking through man eyes. Yes, Man Eyes…eyes that are just stuck in the eye sockets of men for social normalcy and only used for avoiding running into walls. They are one step away from glass eye balls. One step. Man eyes are unable to find anything in refrigerators, cupboards, pantries, etc… It can be used in a sentence as a noun…as in, ‘were you looking for the mustard in the fridge with your man eyes? ‘ (disclaimer, totally not hating here, because I am not the best finder of lost things within the depths of a fridge, but I do look beyond the first row….)
Maybe I should take to hiding the baked goods in such places.
Oh, good heavens. Let’s bake…
Start with ricotta…and stir it into a splash of half and half until smooth and creamy.
Zest a bit of orange, scent your house with orange, and realize that your hand is much too small to grate more than one orange. Hand. Cramps. Ouch.
Take those fingers of yours and rub the zest right into the sugar. Orange sugar. Boom!
Eggs and butter and flour and oranges. All the stuff you will need. Gather it up. You don’t have to use a million little bowls. That is just me and my weirdness. And crazy love for small bowls that hold a mere two eggs.
Cut that orange in half and juice it. Just a 1/4 cup. Gulp down the rest and then 20 minutes later when you are experiencing the worst heartburn ever and eating TUMS like an old man, make a mental note…no orange juice. Ever. Like, ever ever.
Whisk in the eggs, vanilla, and orange juice into the orange sugar. I love my KitchenAid mixer, but adore recipes that don’t use it. I like whisks and wooden spoon and single bowl recipes. It is more easy like a Sunday morning, than OH MY GOSH, I need 2 dozen cupcakes in 2 hours for a bake sale I knew about for 3 months.
Cooled melted butter is the next invitee to join the party. Make sure it is cool so we don’t cook the eggs before it is time to do so…ya know, in the oven.
Fold in 1/3 the dry ingredients.
Then goes 1/2 the ricotta and half and half…And then another 1/3 of dry ingredients…And then the remaining half of the ricotta mixture….And then the final 1/3 of the dry ingredients. So we start and finish with dry ingredients, alternating with wet.
Pour batter into parchment lined loaf pan. Bake.
Glaze…best part. If you wanted to add a bit of extra zest to the glaze…I wouldn’t argue with the awesomeness of that.
See, best part. So darn sexy.
- 1+1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Half and Half
- Zest of 1 Orange, grated
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice (about 1/2 of an orange)
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1/3 Cup (5 + 1/3 T) Unsalted Butter, Melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line loaf pan (about a 5in x 10in) with parchment paper
- Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and half and half until smooth. Set aside.
- Combine grated orange zest and sugar in large mixing bowl and using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar.
- Whisk in 1/4 cup of orange juice, 2 eggs, cooled butter, and vanilla extract.
- Fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture until just combined, Fold in 1/2 of ricotta mixture. Continue this (flour, ricotta, flour, ricotta, flour) mixing after each addition.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and place in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes until browned and golden and toothpick when inserted comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before turning out of pan and letting it cool completely before glazing.
- Sift confectioner’s glaze into a small bowl. Add in 2 to 3 tablespoons of orange juice and whisk until smooth.
- Pour glaze over cooled cake.
- Trick: To set glaze, place cake under broiler for about 20 to 30 seconds. Remove immediately.