Complacency is so boring but comfortable, while growth is so unpredictable and trying. Everything I am processing in this season seems so weighty (at least in my sphere), too personal for this space, but talking about food seems so... detached. These sorts of notes here elicit responses of pity and that is far from necessary. In the meantime, we'll just talk about food anyway. Which sounds complacent and comfortable and just what I need in this space for now.
I'm confidently calling this a breakfast cake. I'm a savory breakfast girl. I love eggs and they feel like a wise choice to get the day going. Maybe out of habit, or because a sweet in the morning makes me feel a tad guilty. I have treats all other times of the day, likely too often, so breakfast is the one time they're easy to turn down. But this cake? It isn't really the guilty sort. It's baked in a cake pan, but has a denser crumb from that cornmeal likening it more to a loaf. For a "cake," it's pretty low in sugar and tastes as such - not bad, but light. I had a bounty of stone fruits in my CSA basket and ripe as they are, I found all they needed was a pat of butter and a breath of heat. If you're using ripe, summer fruits, I think you'll find they don't need added sugar. But you be the judge of that if you get a tart bunch. A little fresh whipping cream makes this totally passable for company, but honey and yogurt work great for the creamy component as well. Or vanilla ice cream! Ok, now it's not breakfast anymore but you get the idea.
CITRUS POLENTA CAKE WITH WARM STONEFRUITS // Makes one 10'' cake
cake adapted from Womens Health Magazine
I haven't tried, but I think this cake would be wonderful made with olive oil in place of the butter. Use the applesauce and you have a dairy-free option. You also wouldn't need the mixer, all could be a dump-stir program in a bowl. If you go that route, report back how it goes.
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup natural cane sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup buttermilk or applesauce
- 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp. orange zest
- 1 cup fine ground polenta
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 lbs. assorted stonefruits (plums, pluots, peaches, nectarines etc.)
- 1 Tbsp. orange juice
- dash of vanilla extract or one vanilla bean
honey sweetened yogurt or whipping cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 325'. Line a 10'' cake pan with parchment and butter the bottom and sides.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides if need be. Add the buttermilk or applesauce, and both zest and mix until combined. Add the polenta, almond meal, salt and baking powder and mix until just combined. Pour it into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (the cake is pretty light, you'll want to pull it on the more underdone side of finished to avoid dryness). Cool to the touch and then invert the cake onto a rack or plate.
Cut the stone fruits into thin wedges. Heat the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the fruit slices, orange juice and warm for about 6-8 minutes to warm through, stirring only a few times as to not break up the fruit too much. Stir in the splash of vanilla or seeds from the vanilla bean pod. Taste for sweetness. Mine did not need sugar, add a Tbsp. if your mix tastes a bit tart.
Serve the slices of cake with a heaping spoonful of the fruit topping and a dollop of fresh whipping cream of honey sweetened yogurt.