It does seem to be a mantra of mine - find new ways to use Polenta and this recipe found in the Penguin Cake Bible seems to be a most excellent way to satisfy this quest.
It's a cake but it doesn't use any eggs...or milk. What it does use is ricotta. The cake isn't the most handsome thing that will come out of your oven, the top with be cracked and no amount of subtle lighting will change that. However, it will be one of the tastiest.
The polenta forms a wonderful crust and gives the cake such a unique texture and then the ricotta brings in a lightness that comes as a total surprise. It's wonderfully moist and simple to make. I had my reservations but the proof, as they might say, is in the cake!
Polenta and Ricotta Cake
[Makes 1x20cm/8 inch square]
150 grams sultanas [or raisins]
50 grams fresh pistachios [optional - I added them because I had them]
200 grams polenta [I used fine polenta though you can use coarse]
250 grams self-raising flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
250 grams caster sugar
250 grams ricotta
100 grams melted butter
175ml warm water
Preheat the oven to 170°C/335°F. Use a baking tin with a removable base to make it easier to un-mould the cake.
Place the sultanas into a bowl and pour over with boiling water. Allow to steep. Drain when cold and set aside.
Sift the self-raising flour with the baking powder and place into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the polenta and stir to mix through. Next add the ricotta, melted butter and water. Beat until well combined. Add the drained sultanas and pistachios and beat until just stirred through.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin, smoothing out the top. Bake for 60-90 minutes or until cooked through.
Let it sit in the tin for 20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Just perfect with a cup of coffee or tea or a thick slice slipped in the lunch box.
The original recipe calls for steeping the fruit in brandy - just heat up 3 tablespoons of brandy in a saucepan with the sultanas/raisins for 3-4 minutes until they plump up. Then set aside to cool.
Tagged with Sweet Food