Happy New Year! While Chrystal is still partying it up in the UK, I’m back home recovering from a hectic holiday season–and by “hectic,” I mean gluttonous. Like everyone else, I have plans to kick of the year right by eating mostly lighter, healthier foods to help balance out the last several weeks of meal indulgence. For some reason, though, I’m not quite ready to switch gears. (Am I the only one?) If you’re like me at the moment, this moist polenta cake is one last indulgence you can feel good about. What better way to segue into 2014!
Our dear friend, Rachel, shared this family cake recipe with us this past Thanksgiving, which she affectionately has always called Amor Polenta Cake, or “polenta love.” She brought it over early in the day for the group to nibble on as we all readied the big feast. But before she could finish unpacking all the groceries, nothing but crumbs were left on the serving platter. The cake couldn’t be easier to whip together, being mostly composed of butter, powdered sugar, a touch of polenta and a few eggs. The finished delight was light, buttery, yet had a pleasant crunch from the coarse polenta. Needless to say, it was an unforgettable, addictive treat. For perfect presentation, Rachel recommends serving the dish is this Austrian-style ribbed loaf pan, but any bread pan will do just fine. Cheers to a new year, more delightful–and delicious–than any other!
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for buttering pan
- 2⅔ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs plus 1 yolk, lightly beaten
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring pan
- ⅓ cup dry, coarse polenta
- Dash of kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour the pan to prevent the cake from sticking, about an additional teaspoon of each.
- In a large mixing bowl, whip butter for one minute. Mix in sugar and cream together, just until well incorporated. Beat in remaining ingredients until well combined. (The cake batter will resemble a thick frosting.)
- Spread into the readied pan and bake for 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan comes out "mostly" clean. (Per Rachel's instructions, the cake should moist, but not "too wet" or gooey. For my tastes, I think 70 minutes yielded the perfect texture, but feel free to begin checking the cake around 60 minutes up to 80 minutes, depending on your preference.)
- Let cool for 10 minutes before inverting pan onto a serving platter to remove cake. Enjoy at room temperature.