Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lemon Blueberry Polenta Cake

Have you ever heard of polenta? Probably, but it's not a common food in SLC, so I'd never come across it until a few months ago. And suddenly it was every where! Like when you learn a new obscure word, and then you hear everyone saying it. In case you don't know, polenta is ground dried corn. Polenta is also what it is cooked into, usually a sort of patty or a porridge. It is a staple of traditional Italian food, but has an historical association with the poor peasants. (You'd think I'd have heard of it sometime in all my Italian classes in college, but Dante never mentions it in the three cantiche, and he is the standard for any other piece of literature in Italy.)
In the last few days it's been brought to my attention that I am the source of much weight gain around me. This seemed a perfect opportunity, then, to use polenta in a healthy(ish) dessert. I googled around for polenta dessert recipes and came across this recipe. With a little alteration, I decided on a polenta cake with blueberries, a Italian meringue bassed yogurt icing, and a sprig of thyme for decoration. With rave reviews from the fam., I'm quite pleased with my vaguely healthy dessert!

(adapted from Alpineberry)
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup polenta
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
2/3 cup whole milk, at room temp
6 T butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with a parchment paper circle and butter paper.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, polenta, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat butter and sugur until light and fluffy. Whisk in eggs, milk and vanilla. Add egg mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean and the cake is browned. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of pan to loosen cake. Invert onto a cake rack. Remove parchment paper.

30 g egg whites
75 g sugar
25 g water
1 T lemon zest
3/4 c vanilla yogurt
2 T lemon juice

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and heat to 230 F.
Whip egg whites to a soft peak. Add the sugar syrup and continue beating until cool. Add lemon zest half way through.
Add yogurt and lemon juice.


Brittany said...

Yummmmmmmmm! I want some, it looks beautiful!

apparentlyjessy said...

Anything with lemon and blueberries = YUM! I like the extra touch of rosemary to add a bit of green to the photos. lovely!

Lena said...

So just how healthy-ish is this cake? I see polenta used all the time, but I have never had it my self. And I am skeptical of healthy foods....

Talina said...

I''m sorry Christi but I can't read your blog for the next four months. My family is doing a 'biggest loser' contest and it is Day 1, which means I want to eat candy and dessert all day long. Now here you are, telling me that some desserts are healthy(ish). I can't start down that slippery slope, Christi. Soon I will be convincing myself that chocolate comes from a plant so it's basically a vegetable! That really does look amazing and I look forward to drooling all over my computer in a month ;)
P.S. Feel free to still bring me chocolate for my birthday. I've already written off this weekend as a lost cause.