Polenta Cake with Grilled Rhubarb Jam and Mascarpone
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: makes one 9-inch cake
To make this fluffy, pleasantly coarse cake extra moist, Steve Corry soaks it in a syrup made with Taylor Griffin's orange blossom honey before serving it with smoky grilled-rhubarb jam and luscious mascarpone cream.
- 1 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons orange blossom honey
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb stalks
- Vegetable oil, for rubbing
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup mascarpone
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a deep 9-inch cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour with the cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the orange zest and juice, then gradually beat in the dry ingredients at low speed until almost blended. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the batter until smooth.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool. While the cake is still slightly warm, invert it onto the rack and peel off the paper. Whisk the honey with the water and brush the honey syrup over the cake until evenly glazed. Let the cake cool completely.
- Light a grill or heat a grill pan. Rub the rhubarb with oil and grill over high heat until lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side. Coarsely chop the rhubarb.
- In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and lemon juice and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar starts to melt, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped rhubarb and simmer, stirring often, until the rhubarb releases its juices and cooks down to a thick jam, about 10 minutes.
- In a large stainless steel bowl, beat the cream and vanilla until softly whipped. Add the sugar and beat until firm. Beat in the mascarpone until smooth.
- Cut the cake into wedges. Spoon the rhubarb jam alongside and top with the mascarpone cream.
Moscato d'Asti, a lightly sparkling, lightly sweet wine from Italy's Piedmont region, has a fresh, tangerine-scented liveliness that makes it a terrific partner for not-too-sweet dessertsCorry's polenta cake is a case in point. Ideally, Moscato d'Asti should be drunk the same year it's released; aging merely dulls its youthful vivaciousness.