Lemon Berry Bundt Cake

IMG_1975I follow the Apt. 2b Baking Co. and this recipe came in an email the other day. The cake is made with ricotta cheese, cornmeal and berries and looked just gorgeous so I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I did not have the Nordicware 10-cup Heritage Bundt pan and was not about to go out and buy one when I had a perfectly serviceable and pretty bundt pan already. In the photo, the cake had a beautiful, deep purple berry glaze which I was deciding if I wanted to use since I am personally not that big on glazes, seeing them as simply a way to add more sugar generally.

I also noticed that the directions neglected to mention when to add the eggs, which for me was not an issue, but could be a problem for a more novice baker. The cake came out beautiful and moist, but looked NOTHING like the photo! I chose not to glaze it. It has a lovely lemony, berry taste and thanks to the ricotta, it is only getting moister by the second day. The only things that you have to watch out for are: 1) properly preparing your pan with butter and flour or Baker’s Joy (a spray with flour in it) and 2) not crushing the berries when you fold them in. Give it a try while berries are still so plentiful. Go step by step and it isn’t difficult.

Lemon Berry Bundt Cake from Modern Potluck by Kristin Donnelly

Yield: One bundt cake IMG_1972

Ingredients

Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

3/4 cup softened unsalted butter (1.5 sticks)

2 cups granulated sugar

zest of 2 large lemons

1.5 cups whole-milk ricotta

3 large eggs

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 cups berries (I used a mix of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)

Glaze (I chose not to use the glaze, but here is the recipe if you feel differently)

1/2 cup berries (use the same mix as above)

1/4 cup water

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously butter and flour every crevice of a bundt pan or spray with a baking spry like Baker’s Joy that has flour. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set a cooling rack on top. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate medium bowl, mix the lemon zest with the sugar. Mix it through to moisten the sugar and to infuse the sugar with the lemon.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, on medium speed, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes.)
  4. Add the ricotta and the eggs and beat until everything is fluffy and well incorporated.
  5. Add the lemon juice and mix through.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches and mix well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  7. Using a long spatula, very gently fold in the berries. Don’t worry about being too exact or getting it absolutely evenly distributed. You don’t want to crush the berries. You could probably use frozen, unthawed berried, which would be a bit firmer, but berries are so beautiful now, it would be a shame not to make use of them.
  8. Carefully scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 90 minutes or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester comes out clean. Since ovens vary, start watching it after about 80 minutes. If you take it out too soon, the cake will never turn out of the pan in one piece!
  10. Transfer the pan to the prepared cooling rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, carefully flip the pan over onto the cooling rack and allow to completely cool. If the pan was well, prepared and the cake was sufficiently baked, it will come out in one piece. If you wish to glaze it, wait until the cake is completely cooled.

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For the Glaze

Combine the berries and the water in a small pot and cook over medium heat, using a spoon to press on the berries until they are broken and have released lots of their juice. This takes about 5 minutes. Strain the mixture, pressing on the solids to release as much of the colored juice as possible. Don’t worry if a few seeds fall through.

Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl and whisk in 2 Tablespoons of the berry juice until a smooth glaze forms. Add more juice, if necessary, for the desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cake and allow it to drip down the sides.

 

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