Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Caramelized Polenta Peach Cake

Yes, peach season is over. Yes, this cake is one I served at Silverlake Wine several tastings back, so yes, I am aware I'm broaching on yesterday's news, but a very nice lady from the restaurant asked me for the recipe today and I'm not gonna turn her down. For the hardliners, file this one away until next summer. For the rest of us, substitute winter berries. The cake is still great and has an optional step that is useful for many applications calling for a fragrant note of citrus.

Caramelized Polenta Peach Cake

1 1/2 cup AP flour
1 cup instant Italian polenta
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 oz butter, softened, plus more for ramekins 
1 1/2 cup sugar
Zest of two lemons
1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey
6 large egg yolks
1 cup cream fraiche
1/2 c plain yogurt
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
Juice of two lemons 
6 large peaches, halved and pitted (or sub 6 cups berries)
1 cup berries
1/2 c brown sugar
A few mint leaves for garnish

Lemon Verbena or Vanilla Ice Cream

Preheat oven to 500F. 

Place 8 medium size ramekins on a sheet pan. Divide the turbinado sugar between all of them and squeeze some lemon juice to moisten the sugar. Now place this sheet pan under the broiler to caramelize the sugar being careful not to burn it. Just a couple minutes. Remove from broiler and lower oven to 350F. Rub some butter on the sides of the ramekins.

Combine flour, polenta, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another small bowl, combine cream fraiche and yogurt. Set aside

Place the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer.

Party Trick!
Just as guests are about to arrive, collect the sugar, lemon zest, and pulp from the vanilla
 Dry the bean by placing it in your oven overnight and then reserve it for another use like vanilla sugar 
Place this mixture into a food processor. 
When the doorbell rings, pulse the sugar 7-10 times until the oil from the zest gingerly wafts into your kitchen. 
Your people will chatter among themselves about what a baking wizard you are. 

This step is optional, but has a really pretty effect on the cake as well as your olfactories.  Add the lemon sugar to the butter or the sugar, zest and vanilla extract. Cream until light and fluffy. With the motor running, add the yolks one at a time, scraping after each addition. Beat until smooth.

Add 1/3 of the dries and mix on low or you'll be covered in flour. Next add half the yogurt mixture, mix on low, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Continue ending with the dries and beat just until mixed. Don't over do it or your cake will be tough.

Take an ice cream scoop and divide the batter between the ramekins. Place a peach half, cut side up into the batter which will rise over the peach once it is baked. Add berries and sprinkle generously with brown sugar.

Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes until they are golden brown. Allow to cool and invert on a serving plate. Scoop some ice cream on top and eat up!

1 comment:

andi said...

Hello :)
by Ungarn

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