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Ricotta Pound Cake from Dolce Italiano

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Posted to Thread #21828 at 2:46 am on Mar 26, 2012

Ricotta Pound Cake
Adapted from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen (W.W. Norton & Co., 2007)
By Gina DePalma

The seal of approval in my house is a moment after the first bite. In my solitude, I have been known to shriek, "Damn! I made that?! " And so it goes with this poundcake. Light and full of flavor, I love it simple and unadorned; topped with a bit of lemon curd and berries; toasted with jam; or, in this case, with a side of minted fruit salad.

Makes one 9-inch cake.
Approximately 10 servings

1 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
cup (1 sticks/6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 cups fresh whole-milk ricotta*
1 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
Zest from 2 lemons or limes

*Note: Please use a dry ricotta. Locally, I use Precious brand ricotta with excellent results. If your ricotta is not dry, strain it through a cheese cloth for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center.

Grease a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter, dust it with flour, and tap to knock out the excess.

In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar on medium speed until smooth and light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the extracts & zest.

On low speed, beat in the dry ingredients to combine them, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat the batter for 30 seconds on medium speed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Give the pan a few gentle whacks on the counter to remove any air pockets. Bake the cake for 30 minutes, then turn the pan 180 degrees to ensure even browning. Continue baking until the cake springs back lightly when touched, the sides have begun to pull away from the pan, and a cake inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30-45 minutes more, depending on your oven & ricotta moisture.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully invert on the rack to cool completely. The flavor is best on the next day. Any leftover cake may be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.

You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do
something about its depth. - M

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