Last night's dancers were wearing shirts that said "Neko" on them. Which means "cat" in Japanese. 


We're "enjoying" a day of not really doing anything other than complaining about being tired, with occasional breaks for half-hearted lunges in the direction of catching up on some (house)work. 

By far the best thing we did today (well, so far) was to invent a dessert called Polenta and Ricotta Cake with Cherries in Port.  Well, "invent" implies that it sprung out of our heads, but it's actually two recipes smashed together, this one and this one.  

It's basically a gorgeous-smelling sweet corn poundcake that includes a bunch of orange zest...

 ...covered with a sauce of cherries simmered in (not quite enough) port with cinnamon and vanilla beans for a long time. We had just run out of sauce by the time we got around to taking pictures. I think ideally the cake would be soaked with the port-cherry sauce, as my best bites were.  

One nice thing about living in a building where friends live and work is that we could give the rest of this cake to Andy, Valentina, and Ron, thus saving us from eating an entire poundcake in 24 hours. 


polenta & ricotta cake with port-soaked cherries (de-Doriefication in progress).

1/4 cup port-soaked cherries
1 cup fine or medium polenta or yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (250gr) ricotta
1/3 cup orange juice or a little more
3/4 cup raw sugar
3/4 cup honey
Grated zest of 2 oranges plus a little more
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into bits and chilled
2 large eggs

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-1/2-inch springform tart pan with a removable bottom and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Whisk the polenta, flour, baking powder and salt together.

In a large bowl, beat the ricotta and water together on low speed until very smooth. With the mixer at medium speed, add the sugar, honey and almost all of the orange zest and beat until light. Beat in the melted butter, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until the mixture is smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are fully incorporated. 

You should have a sleek, smooth, pourable batter. If not, thin carefully with orange juice or a little water.

Pour about one third of the batter into the pan and scatter over the cherries. Pour in the rest of the batter, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, if necessary, and dot the batter evenly with the chilled bits of butter. Scatter the remaining orange zest on top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake should be honey brown and pulling away just a little from the sides of the pan. Transfer the cake to a rack and remove the sides of the pan after about 5 minutes. Cool to warm, or cool completely.



Klary Koopmans said...

is there no end to the delicious sounding cornmeal/polenta recipes on VDuck?

MEM said...

Let's hope not, we are cornmeal-based lifeforms. I'm currently working on a bourbon-y dessert for Sunday (bourbon being made from a grain mixture that is 51% corn)...

Slow Food Santa Fe said...

This looks insanely delicious. How am I supposed to go on living without knowing what it tastes like?



MEM said...

But you don't have to not know what it tastes like! Don't you see??? You can know!

I'm kind of jealous that you stuck so many blank lines between your Hows in your last comment...now I want to know what it feels to play fast and loose with one's spacing. But if I do it now? I'm just copying you....