In the last year or so I’ve stumbled upon a couple of my favorite food blogs that I love to follow regularly. They’re great insight to dishes that I thought I would never give the time of day to try making. You would be surprised how often dishes are so easy to make that otherwise lead you to believe require many painful hours in the kitchen. One of my favorite food blogs is Ariel Rebel’s Zesty and Spicy (www.ZestyAndSpicy.com) She’s the sweetest person I’ve had the chance to get to know recently and has a plethora of easy recipes for just about any category you can think of. She proves anyone can bake, her entrees are elegant, clean, and super flavorful. The incredible desserts that look like a work of art are very simple to make! So of course I went to her rescue for dessert ideas.
It’s never in my best interest to make something for the very first time and use two important guests as guinea pigs but I was confident enough in the ingredients and Ariel’s palate that this dessert would go over just fine. One of my hubby’s favorite dishes I make just a couple times a year (usually Winter) is my Braciole and Italian Sausage. Apparently he raves about it at work with the guys and so he asked me to make this for his two bosses coming over. To keep the Italian theme it was without a doubt that I’d make Ariel Rebel’s Orange Cardamom Ricotta Pound Cake.
This pound cake is not your traditional pound cake but it’s simply perfect for transitioning into Spring time. It’s dense and moist with a very refreshing flavor of the orange juice and zest, the ground cardamom really compliments the citrus by enhancing the flavors. For me, it was perfect the way it turned out as is… so I set aside some for the coming days, hehe. But because I had guests coming over I have never met before I wanted to sweeten it up a little bit with my Italian touch by making a Ricotta Whipped Cream topped with Orange Juice Macerated Strawberries. Forgive me please for I have turned a perfectly… perfect recipe and made it gluttonous. It went over quite well even though we all over ate dinner. Let’s just say plates were clean.
Ariel says you can toast this with butter on top or serve it with ice cream. Even with your afternoon/evening tea. Um YES PLEASE!!! How can you go wrong with ricotta in pound cake? Ugh. It’s just brilliant. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I can’t shut up about it LOL
2 cups of sifted flour
2 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of cardamom
1/2 cup of ricotta
3/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
zest of 1 navel orange
1 egg white
3/4 cup of orange juice (I used 100% pure bottled orange juice)
Grease and flour a 10″ x 4″ bread pan and pre-heat the oven to 350 F degrees.
In a large bowl sift the flour and add the baking powder and ground cardamom. Mix it altogether with a whisk.
Place the ricotta, sugar, butter, vanilla extract and orange zest in a bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment (or hand mixer) starting on low for a few a seconds and then to medium speed until everything is smooth. Once smooth add one egg at a time including the egg white.
Reduce the speed to slow and start adding the flour mixture into the mixer in three parts. Then slowly pour the orange juice until everything is smooth.
Pour the mixture into the bread pan and bake for about an hour. Or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center by poking it.
ORANGE MACERATED STRAWBERRIES
8 oz container of strawberries, leafy end removed & sliced
1 navel orange, juiced
1 teaspoon sugar
Stir everything together in a glass bowl, cover and refrigerate until read to serve.
RICOTTA WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
Place everything into a bowl of a mixer with a whisk attachment. Let it whisk on high until the cream thickens and forms a soft peak at the bottom of the whisk.
Slice the pound cake into 1/2 inch slices and lay onto a plate. Put your desired amount of ricotta whipped cream on top of the pound cake and garnish everything with the strawberries. Use the juice in the strawberries to drizzle on top of everything and DEVOUR!