Because there’s no such thing as too much cake, we’re giving you two great recipes for Polenta Cake, both of which are wonderful breakfast cakes.
The first, Polenta Pound Cake with Fresh Thyme and Blueberries, was made by our miller’s daughter, and people who sampled it at the Good Food Expo were blown away. The thyme gives it a light herbal aroma that perfectly complements the heirloom Bloody Butcher cornmeal and Frederick White Wheat Cake Flour. (By the way, our Frederick cake flour is ground from the whole kernel, but because the kernel is white, not a reddish-brown like most wheat, the resulting flour is white, soft, and delicate — perfect for this cake.)
The second recipe, Orange-Glazed Polenta Cake or Amor Polenta, has a rich, nutty taste because of the almond flour, which combines perfectly with the lighter taste of our white or yellow cornmeal.
Polenta Pound Cake with Fresh Thyme and Blueberries
Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine; makes one 9 x 5 loaf
8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan
6-2/3 oz. (1-2/3 cups) Janie’s Mill Organic “Frederick” White Wheat Cake Flour, plus more for the pan
1/3 cup Janie’s Mill Organic Heirloom “Bloody Butcher” Cornmeal (you may substitute our yellow or white cornmeal)
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, thyme, and salt.
In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat the softened butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix briefly to combine. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour gradually until just combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Tap the pan on the counter to pop any air bubbles.
Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out with just a few small, moist crumbs attached, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. (If the top starts to get too dark, lay a piece of foil loosely over the cake.)
Cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate or cutting board. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature, topped with blueberries or other fruit.
Orange-Glazed Polenta Cake
Adapted from David Lebovitz, makes 1 bundt cake or two 9-inch loaf pans
For the cake
16 ounces (1 cup, 450g) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup (350g) sugar
zest of 2 organic lemons (or oranges)
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup orange liqueur (Grand Marnier or Cointreau) or orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 1/2 cups (250g) finely ground Janie’s Mill Yellow Cornmeal plus additional for preparing the pan
4 cups (430g) almond flour (you can make your own by grinding slightly less than a pound of almonds in a food processor)
3/4 cup Janie’s Mill All-Purpose Flour (110g)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
For the glaze (optional)
2 1/2 cups (340g) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau) or use orange juice
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a large bundt pan or two 9-inch loaf pans. Dust the inside with cornmeal.
2. Place the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl and with a stand mixer or electric beater, beat at medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, stopping the mixer after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the liqueur and almond extract.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, until just combined.
4. Scrape the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool on a rack for about 30 minutes, then run a knife along the outside of the cake to loosen. Tip the cake onto the rack and cool completely before icing.
5. The glaze is optional, but if you’d like to use it, mix the powdered sugar with the orange juice and orange liqueur until the glaze is thick, but still runny. Spoon the glaze over the cake, letting it run down the sides.