My newest favorite Santa Monica restaurant is Rustic Canyon. The pastry chef, Zoe Nathan, has created the yummiest dessert ever, cranberry orange cornmeal cake served with an elegant scoop of homemade ice cream.
I am a baker myself, so I know a fabulous cake when I taste it -- and I've never met a cranberry I didn't love. Will you please ask the chef to share this special recipe?
--Clyde Young, Brentwood
Dear Clyde: This beautifully rustic cornmeal cake has light notes of vanilla and maple, with ricotta folded into the batter just before baking for extra-moist texture. Tart scarlet cranberries and sweetly fragrant orange zest flavor this creation for a perfect fall dessert.
Cranberry orange cornmeal cake
Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Note: Adapted from pastry chef Zoe Nathan of Rustic Canyon.
2 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided