Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cherry-Olive Oil Polenta Cake

Ok, so you may be thinking this combinations sounds disgusting. weird. unnatural. strange. But please at least give it some thought. The EVOO give this cake a very dense moist texture with some hearty floral notes that compliment the cherries. The polenta/corn meal gives structure and adds to the texture and overall mouth feel. The  cherries add sweetness and another dimension to the dish. All of the flavors are there for a reason. It may sound strange, but it is very delectable!

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup polenta or cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh Bing cherries, (about 1 pound), pitted and halved
  • Whipped cream (homemade is best), ice cream, greek yogurt with honey, or Crème fraîche if your feeling fancy, for serving
The first thing that needs to be taken care of is the cherries. It might be a mess to pit them, but at least you'll have a chance to sample some of them! 
Next, preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 10" round cake pan with nonstick vegetable spray, or lightly coat it with butter or oil. (I use butter.)

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine eggs and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light in color, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla, olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. (Make sure the zest is only the top yellow layer! No pith please!)

In a separate bowl, together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mix to egg mixture, along with polenta. Mix until combined. (Note: I used cornmeal and just sifted it along with the flour.)

Pour two thirds of batter into prepared pan, and completely cover it with cherries. Spoon remaining batter over cherries, allowing fruit to peek through in spots. Bake until top and edges are lightly golden and a toothpick (or fork) inserted in the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour 25 minutes. (I used a 9'' pan and it took about 1 hour and 30 mins.) Remove from oven and cool pan  for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely. (I never let it cool completely. It's ok. Go ahead and dig in!) Cut the cake, and serve each slice with a dollop of cream.

No comments:

Post a Comment