Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Tuesday with Dorie, Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake
This week on Tuesdays with Dorie Elizabeth from Engineer Baker chose Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake which is something that I would not have picked on my own. Finding figs for this was kind of funny, I ended up at the Natural food store, for some reason the other supermarkets that I went to no longer sell figs. I could not find Kadota figs so I went with Mission. I halved the recipe which was a little interesting, 3/4 cup halved is 6 tablespoons. I did end up cooking it for 15 minutes longer.
Taste: Very sweet, cornmeal taste but not the crumbliness of cornmeal, nice fig taste with the crunches from the seeds. I had one piece and then kept sneaking little slivers.
This will most likely be the only time that I will make this. I just do not use ricotta. I got the smallest size and still have allot left over. The cake that I making latter this week, I think that I will use the ricotta instead of the butter. I think that I may try this again with sour cream and see what happens.
I cut up what was left and froze it for snacks later this week.
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 Pan, 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.