Tuesdays with Dorie: Fluted Polenta and Ricotta CakeApril 29, 2008 at 4:18 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 45 Comments
This cake reminds me of the kind of thing my Italian nonna would make, if I had an Italian nonna. No wonder my husband, who is half Italian, scarfed this up! Caitlin of Engineer Baker chose this, Dorie’s Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake, as our TWD recipe of the week.
Polenta in this case is just another name for yellow cornmeal, so the cake had sort of a sweet cornbread feel to it, but combined with ricotta and honey, it was quite moist. And you can’t tell from the outside, but hidden in the cake are…dried figs! Normally, I am not a fan of dried figs (a lasting side effect of my childhood aversion to Newtons), but they work really well here. Their little seeds give a pleasant crunch to the cake. I did use a couple less than the recipe called for, though, and I chopped them into quarters so I could more evenly scatter them throughout the batter.
I wanted to follow Dorie’s suggestion to put a few thyme leaves into the batter, but then of course I forgot! So I made thyme whipped cream instead, by rubbing thyme leaves into the sugar that sweetened it. Please, no judgements about the massive amount of cream in that photo–I know I went a little overboard!
This was a lovely cake…simple and homey and good for breakfast (maybe without the mountain of whipped cream). I made a half batch, which fit perfectly into my 7 1/2-inch tart pan. Early reports from some other TWDers were that the cake was a bit too sweet. I went a little skimpy on the measurements for both the sugar and honey, and it came out just right. The only thing that left me scratching my head was the extra little hunk of butter that gets dotted on top of the cake before it goes into the oven. It didn’t seen to do much but make some pale colored spots on top…I think I’ll leave it out if I make the cake again.