Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Polenta Cake
with Lemon and Raspberries

Makes 1 cake



2 cups frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, room temp.
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1-1/4 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice

2 cups chilled heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp Absolut citron vodka
   (or any other flavored liqueur)
3/4 cup toasted, sliced almonds
Fresh raspberries and candied lemon peel for garnish



For filling:
purée berries in a food processor. Strain into a heavy medium saucepan. Add sugar and cornstarch. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, about 3 minutes. Cool, cover; chill until cold, about 2 hours.

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9" cake pan with 2" high sides well with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment paper and spray paper. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Stir in cornmeal. Add to butter mixture and beat just until blended. Mix in lemon zest and juice.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until cake is golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Transfer cake to rack, cool. Using knife, cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Turn cake out. Peel off parchment.

For frosting:
Beat cream, sugar, vanilla, and vodka until medium peaks form. Set aside 3/4 cup for decoration.

Using serrated knife cut cake horizontally into 3 layers. Using bottom of 9" tart pan as aid (or a similar size plate) transfer 1 layer to platter. Spread half of filling over. Spread 1 cup frosting over filling; top with second cake layer. Spread remaining filling over. Spread 1 cup frosting over filling. Top with third cake layer. Spread sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Press nuts into sides of cake. Place reserved frosting into a pastry bag and pipe a border around cake and some rosettes on top of cake. Sprinkle candied lemon peel on border and press a raspberry into each rosette.


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This page created December 1999