Family celebrations -baby showers, engagement parties and birthdays- call for a spectacular dessert. It’s a special occasion! The recipe shouldn’t be TOO fussy, though, otherwise you’ll be stuck in the kitchen, hands on hip, checking your watch, resentful you have to time the soufflé or Baked Alaska or whatever dessert that seemed like a good idea 3 weeks ago.
This rich and dense pound cake ticks off all the boxes. It packs the pizazz of special ingredients -real vanilla bean and whole milk ricotta. But you can go easy on yourself and make it the day before. Be REALLY organized and bake the cake a couple of weeks ahead, freeze it and add the glaze the morning of the party. It’s as easy as…pie.
You have a choice, though. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, then try the unusual and very European rose water glaze. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, then drizzle the cake with the equally delicious almond flavor.
- 9 ounces unsalted butter
- 2½ cups whole milk ricotta
- 2½ cups sugar
- 2½ cups cake flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ vanilla bean, sliced
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
- Cool completely before adding glaze.
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Scant ½ teaspoon rose water (May be bought at specialty and Middle Eastern stores or Williams Sonoma)
- 3 tablespoons cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¾ teaspoon almond extract
- 3-4 tablespoons cream
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar on medium speed for several minutes until smooth and fluffy.
- While the butter, ricotta and sugar are mixing, grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- When the butter mixture is ready, beat eggs in one at a time. Don't over-mix. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out, and beat into the batter along with the extract. On low speed beat in the dry ingredients, just until mixed.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth down with a spatula.
- Bake approximately 55 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Mix together powdered sugar and rose water or vanilla extract. Slowly stir in cream.
- Either drizzle or pipe glaze onto cake.