Tuesday, April 29, 2008

TWD- Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake

It's Tuesday and that means Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake, or in my case, Fluted Cornmeal and Cottage Cheese/Cream Cheese Cake with Dried Blueberries. This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Caitlin over at Engineer Baker. I didn't have ricotta cheese or figs on hand, so I decided to see if I could use whatever I had at my house. IT WORKED!

I used 1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese, which I blended in the blender to make smooth and then, 1/2 cup 1/3 less fat cream cheese, in substitution for the 1 cup ricotta cheese and dried blueberries in place of the figs. I also reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup after reading comments on the Tuesdays with Dorie page about it being a little too sweet. The overall cake was not a favorite of my husbands or older kids, but my baby loved it! I am always up for trying something new and this definitely fit that bill. I also used an 11-inch tart pan because other people were commenting about having trouble with the batter overflowing. And as Dorie says, this one really is better the next day. "It tastes like lemon yogurt cake, no cornbread, wait a blueberry muffin!"

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


PheMom said...

I love that you subbed out ingredients. Your cake looks great. I think the blueberries would be my favorite combo too. Beautiful job!

Sarah said...

Way to improvise! Sounds great and looks great!

LyB said...

It looks delicious! So cool you got creative with the ingredients, I love that!

kim said...

nice idea to use blueberries, the ingredients you subbed in sound great!

Marie said...

Mary ann, I love your cake! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who subbed the cottage cheese and I'm so glad that it worked for you as well! Your dried blueberries look so cute! Way to go Sista!

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

Shut. Up. Blueberries worked? Wish I'd used my strawberries ... Good thinking!


CB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CB said...

^ oops.

Take 2.

Way to substitute! I bet the blueberries were fabulous! Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Bumblebutton said...

Improvisation is the mark of a true master--I love your ideas. Wish I had thought of blueberries!

Jayne said...

Blueberries sound good - I think my kids would have preferred those to the blueberries. And this cake just seems designed for alterations, doesn't it? Very amenable to whatever you've got on hand. Nice job!

Anne said...

Way to be resourceful! It looks yummy!

cruisingkitty said...

What a great idea to make this with blueberries! That must have tasted heavenly!

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy! Blueberries sound like they would taste wonderful in this dessert.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

great modifications! came out looking fab!

Engineer Baker said...

Blueberries sound awesome, and I love the creativity and resourcefulness. Your cake looks beautiful, with its golden brown edges!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great job with this! Wonderful to know that the ricotta was subbed with other things. I do not usually have ricotta on hand. Glad the baby liked it!

Shari said...

Great substitutions! Very creative.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Dried blueberries, yummy!

Julius said...

Your cake looks delicious!

I'll try blueberries next time. :)

from Occasional Baker