Monday, October 24, 2011

Cornmeal Rosemary Cake with Pine Nuts & Orange Glaze

I've been trying to figure out how to begin this post since I've been away from it for so long now. It's been well over a month and I have to admit, it feels a little odd just typing this post. It's funny how, once you stop posting for a day, then a week, then a month, you figure, well, so much time has passed, what's another day!

Truth is, I've been so busy with my baking business that I've had no extra time to make a lot of new recipes, although I did manage to make a few, which I hope to share with you in the future.

So, okay, let's get to this wonderful cake. A woman from the Farmer's Market where I sell asked me if I'd like some Fine Cooking magazines and, of course, I was happy to take them off her hands! I wasn't actually familiar with this magazine before but it really a great one, with lots of excellent recipes.

This Cornmeal Rosemary Cake has chopped pine nuts, mascarpone cheese and lots of fresh orange zest to give it a wonderful flavor, especially with the rosemary. And, it's fairly easy to make. You don't have to drag out the standing mixer, everything is mixed or whisked by hand in a few bowls.

It gets an orange syrup that you brush on top, then an orange glaze with the good!

Begin by combining your dry ingredients together with the orange zest.
Then whisk the mascarpone cheese and add the eggs, one at a time, then the sugar.   

Fold in your dry ingredients, in 2 batches...

Then stir in the melted butter.
Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and bake.

After you take the cake out of the oven and invert it, brush on the syrup.

While the cake is cooling, make the glaze.

Then spoon the glaze over the cooled cake and let it set up a few hours.

Cornmeal Rosemary Cake with Pine Nuts & Orange Glaze ( from "Fine Cooking" magazine, Nov. 2004)

Makes one 9" cake


Soft butter for the pan
6 3/4 ozs. ( 1 1/2 cups) AP flour
3/4 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal ( Quaker brand is fine)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. orange zest
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
5 ozs. ( 2/3 cup) mascarpone cheese, room temp.
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Orange Syrup:
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
3 tbsp. granulated sugar

Orange Glaze:
1 tbsp. whole fresh rosemary leaves ( stripped from the stem but not chopped)
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
5 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9" x 2" round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

1. In a medium bowl, whick together the flour, cornmeal, pine nuts, rosemary, orange zest, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the mascarpone to loosen it a little. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine.
3. Add in the sugar and whisk til smooth.
4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the wet, mixing til smooth.
5. Stir in the melted butter with a rubber spatula, til well blended.
6. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake til the entire top of the cake is a rich golden brown and springs back when pressed gently in the center, 40 to 45 minutes.

Make the orange syrup:
While the cake is almost finished baking, combine the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, til the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat.

Once the cake has cooled about 5 minutes in the pan, invert it so it's right side up.
Poke a few dozen holes, with a skewer or toothpick, into the top of the warm cake and brush with the warm syrup. Continue brushing for several minutes, giving the syrup time to sink into the cake, til you have used all the syrup. Let the cake cool completely.

Make the orange glaze:
1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Have ready a small bowl of ice water.
2. Put the rosemary leaves into the boiling water and blanch them for a minute.
3. Scoop them out and immediately place them into the ice water. Drain them and spread them out onto a paper towel to dry.
4. In a bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar, cream and orange juice til smooth. Then whisk in the blanched rosemary and the zest.
5. When the cake has cooled, spoon the glaze over the cake. Let it drip over the sides.
( Excess glaze will spill over so you may want to do this over a larger plate or even a baking sheet to catch the drips!).
Let the cake sit for at least an hour before cutting.
Note: This is one of those cakes that just gets better over time. Enjoy!


  1. Welcome back! :). Glad to hear it was your business that was keeping you away and not anything else, and also glad to hear you're doing so well.
    I'll honestly eat anything with mascarpone though I don't often see it used in cakes/quick breads. Is the flavour actually noticeable, or is it kin to using sour cream or yogurt? Either way it looks quite good.

  2. Hi Adam,
    Thanks for your comment. It's great to be back, although it will still be slow going! Coming into the busy holiday time!
    The flavor of the mascarpone doesn't really come through. I think it just give some moistness to the cake and allows it to tone down the sweetness.
    This cake is really delicious!



Related Posts with Thumbnails