Lately I’ve been searching for a favorite store-bought orange marmalade– one that’s got the perfect balance of bitterness, sweetness, and orange flavor. Of course, marmalades that don’t turn out to be perfect have to go somewhere, and rather than waste my buttered toast on sub-par marmalade, I’ve been trying to figure out creative uses for the extras.
This cake (made from Bonne Maman marmalade, which had too much jelly and not enough peel for me) combined the idea of a cake with jam swirled into the batter, with the ricotta/chocolate/orange flavor profile of my favorite cupcakes in the world. I was kind of going for a cannoli flavor– heavy on the ricotta with a kiss of chocolate and orange to make it interesting.
Frankly, it turned out a bit too stodgy for me, with the moisture from the ricotta lending an almost cheesecake-like texture that wasn’t quite what I was going for, but the flavor is nice and it’s not like I’d turn down a slice if offered one. It’s cake, after all!
Next time I have extra marmalade I may just mix it into a regular cake, or mix it with a little cinnamon and spread it between layers of scone dough (a favorite recipe from my college days) before baking. In the meantime, however, I’ll be snacking on this with some strong tea!
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tbs. orange marmalade
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 egg white
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 1 lb. loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl
- In a separate bowl, combine eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, milk, and extracts and whisk to combine.
- Mix together wet and dry ingredients to make a batter.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of the orange marmalade and the chocolate chips, making sure to distribute evenly throughout the batter.
- Pour half of the batter into your prepared loaf pan.
- In a small bowl, combine 3 tbs. marmalade, ricotta, and egg white.
- Dollop 2/3 of the ricotta mixture onto your batter and swirl with a knife.
- Top with remaining batter and more dollops of ricotta. Swirl with a knife. (Note: I realized at the end that my 9×4″ pan was too small to fit all of my batter– if your pan is too full, you may have to leave some of the batter/ricotta out. I ended up removing about a cup, total, to avoid spillover)
- Bake in the center of the oven for about an hour, until the exterior is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with damp (but not gooey) crumbs on it.
- While the cake is still warm, brush with more marmalade to form a glaze. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
- Use your parchment as a sling to lift the loaf onto a wire cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.