April 26, 2013

April (Baby! and Wedding!) Showers

Polenta Ricotta Honey Cake 
with Lemon Blueberry topping
{original recipe from vintage kitchen notes}

I had the pleasure of spending this past weekend with my five best friends from college. Simply put, these ladies are amazing. And inspiring. And fun. And creative. This reunion was full of many celebratory life moments, including pending nuptials, growing bellies, new homes, growing broods, health & happiness. Tea parties take center stage at our reunions. Whether at a fancy tea house (a la Alice's Tea Cup in NYC or Peacock Alley at the Willard in DC) or in pjs at home, tea parties truly feel indulgent. Baked treats accompanied by clotted cream & lemon curd are all requisites.

This time around, I tried to inject a bit of wholesome into the indulgent mix. This polenta ricotta honey cake had a nutty texture, providing a nice complement to the tangy blueberry topping. The cake was a bit crumbly but still nice & moist. We served this with a salmon & leek quiche and a spinach & toasted pine nut quiche, as well as a arugula based salad filled with spring greens & a goat cheese dressing. If you like a traditional Italian almond cake, this one is definitely worth trying. 

cake ingredients:
1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup ricotta

1/3 cup tepid water
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
8 tbsp butter, melted & cooled
1 tbsp butter, cut into bits & chilled
2 large eggs

topping ingredients:
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar

1.  pre-heat oven to 350F.

2. Line bottom of a 9 inch springform cake pan with parchment paper (I actually did without, and had no problem transferring the cake to a pretty serving tray afterwards). 

3. spray or butter the sides of the cake pan.

4. mix polenta, flour, baking powder & salt in a bowl.

5. beat the ricotta cheese with the water until it is a smooth, uniform texture. Add honey, sugar & lemon zest, continue to beat until smooth. 

6. gradually add the melted & cooled butter. then add the eggs, one at a time. continue to beat until mixture is smooth. 

7. slowly fold the wet ingredients in small batches into the dry ingredients until smooth. 

8. pour the mixture into the cake pan. dot the top of the batter with the bits of butter. 

9. bake for about 35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

10. for the blueberry sauce, on the stovetop, mix blueberries, lemon juice & sugar. cook for about 5 minutes over low heat until the blueberries wrinkle & loose their shape.

11. transfer onto a cake platter. serve with the blueberry sauce & a dusting of powdered sugar. 


  1. Gotta try this: Love the polenta.

  2. So nice to find your blog through the polenta cake! It looks amazing.

  3. Thanks for visiting, hope we can continue to provide inspiration for each other's culinary adventures!