Yes, I have finally succummed to peer pressure and joined the fabulous group of people called Tuesdays with Dorie. If you haven’t heard of TWD, you must be living under a rock (just kidding). TWD is a group of people who once a week bake a recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s book: Baking, From my home to yours.
I found the book for an amazing price of less than $12 (including shipping) on ebay. So, if you want to join TWD and get the cookbook, make sure you look there first.
So, onto this week’s TWD recipe. Caitlin of Engineer Baker chose Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake. When I first saw the recipe, I will admit, I was extremely disappointed. The name did not sound good at all too me. I was semi-upset that the first recipe was not to my liking and that maybe I should skip this week. But since we were watching John’s sisters this weekend, I thought it would be fun to try it.
Pouring the ingredients into the mixer.
The finished product.
Hannah loved the dessert!
As did I.
Since I wasn’t sure what this was going to taste like, I just made 1/2 a recipe of this. I think that’s why my “cake” is so short. Hannah has been learning about fractions in school, so this was the perfect opportunity to practice her fractions. I think it was neat to show her a “real life” application of what she is learning in school.
I am so glad that Caitin chose this recipe, I never would have made it on my own, but it was simply delicious. It was the perfect afternoon snack. I couldn’t find figs in my town so I used some frozen strawberries. They were excellent! They melted while baking and turned into almost a jam-like consistency. Hannah thought it would also be good, to leave the strawberries out of the cake and just smear a layer of them on top.
Also, those of you that have been reading my blog for awhile, may have noticed something “new” in my pictures… I finally got “my” KA mixer back! I bought this mixer on Amazon 3 years ago for a steal of a price, but it was too tall to fit under my cabinet. So, my mother so graciously offered to let me borrow her KA (a much smaller = shorter model) until I moved and I had a space for it. Well, I have been cooking/baking so much lately I have really been thinking how nice it would be to have my bigger KA mixer. So, this weekend, I went to my mom’s house and stole asked nicely for an old desk that she wasn’t really using. At the same time, we switched KA’s back. I put the desk under the big window in my kitchen, I think it looks pretty good? The desk is the perfect size for mixer, cookbook, and whatever I am measuring. I love it!
Recipe after the break.
Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake
About 16 moist, plump dried Mission or Kadota figs, stemmed I couldn’f find figs, so I used a handful of frozen strawberries
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 I used slightly less
¾ c. honey (if you’re a real honey lover, use a full-flavored honey such as chestnut, pine, or buckwheat) I used slightly less
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.