Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie #9

I was so excited about today's TWD choice because I love honey, cornbread, and figs. I enjoyed this, though it was a bit sweet. I don't know that the figs added to the cake, next time I might use nuts, like almonds or macadamia. It wasn't really a breakfast food, or dessert, more like an afternoon tea-time pick-me-up dish. It was like cornbread, but much more tender and soft. I like how the corn meal gave it a little texture. Overall, a great recipe, but next time I'd make a few adjustments!

Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake

About 16 moist, plump dried Mission or Kadota figs, stemmed
1 c. medium-grain polenta or yellow cornmeal
½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 c. ricotta
1/3 c. tepid water
¾ c. sugar
¾ c. honey (if you’re a real honey lover, use a full-flavored honey such as chestnut, pine, or buckwheat)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 10 ½-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Check that the figs are, indeed, moist and plump. If they are the least bit hard, toss them into a small pan of boiling water and steep for a minute, then drain and pat dry. If the figs are large (bigger than a bite), snip them in half.
Whisk the polenta, flour, baking powder, and salt together.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the ricotta and water together on low speed until very smooth. With the mixer at medium speed, add the sugar, honey, and lemon zest and beat until light. Beat in the melted butter, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until the mixture is smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are fully incorporated. You’ll have a sleek, smooth, pourable batter.
Pour about one third of the batter into the pan and scatter over the figs. Pour in the rest of the batter, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, if necessary, and dot the batter evenly with the chilled bits of butter.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake should be honey brown and pulling away just a little from the sides of the panm, and the butter will have left light-colored circles in the top. Transfer the cake to a rack and remove the sides of the pan after about 5 minutes. Cool to warm, or cool completely.


Rebecca said...

You know, nuts probably would be a real improvement. Good idea!

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing. It was a sort of in between dessert. You will have to post again if you make any improvements.

Jayne said...

Nuts sound like a great idea to me, too. Ground or slivered almonds...hmmm.

Cheryl said...

Mmmm, I bet it would be good with nuts. Almonds get my vote, with maybe a little almond extract in the batter, too. I love how versatile this cake is! I used orange zest and fresh plums in mine, and it was fabulous!

Jacob and Elizabeth said...

I really think you're onto something with the nuts. I'm not a fan of this cake, but I think the nut exchange or addition (a trail mix cake?!) would make me change my mind. Clever.

CB said...

I agree - afternoon tea. Nuts? That could be interesting. If I make this again I might have to try it. :)
Clara @


Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

A nice crunchy munchy cake - good job! Like your idea about trying nuts next time.

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

Sorry that this one didn't rate very well with you. I bet something like almonds with apricots would be an interesting combination. Maybe next week's torte will be more up your alley.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Wonderful that you enjoyed it so much! Looks like you did a great job with it!

Cecilia said...

Great job with the cake! I'm glad that you enjoyed it and that you would be open to making it again. I had my misgivings at first, but I became a fan as well.

Have you considered using raisins next time? That's what I used, and I thought they did nicely.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I agree this is a great tea-time treat! I decided to sweeten the cake with honey only, and was pleased with the outcome.

danielle said...

I was thinking nuts as well, Instead of figs. This is a great base recipe, but next time i will make a few adjustments as well.

Natalie said...

Hmmm... nuts. :D Good idea!