BLOOD ORANGE POLENTA CAKE FLOP
First of all, I was really excited to make this recipe I had heard about on a food radio show. An owner of a gourmet restaurant in Los Angeles talked about this cake he serves at his restaurant and the radio show's website published the recipe for the listeners. It sounded so awesome. Blood orange polenta cake.The bright yellow polenta standing out in the cake with the rich blood orange juice dripping down and then a fluffy, light honey mascarpone frosting. Amazing and different, I thought it would be perfect for our Easter potluck with friends/birthday cake for my friend Erica.
How could you go wrong with such a solid source right? A chef that owns a gourmet restaurant in Los Angeles. Well...yes you can go wrong and these are the baking lessons I have been learning lately. Gourmet recipes have much potential to flop.
The cake was "too healthy" tasting, and was rough and dry. The visual was not so brightly colored as I imagined. But, the frosting was quite good and made the cake bearable to eat along with extra blood orange juice we poured on afterwards. Thank goodness I also made freshly baked Easter m&m cookies and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert as well.
So getting back to fancy smancy recipes that flop. Two weeks ago I had a friend over for dinner and I picked out a dinner dish and dessert from April's Gourmet Magazine to make for a lovely dinner. Both recipes were just OK and nothing thrilling. I was so disappointed and now with this cake(my third gourmet flop in a row), I am done. I should be able to trust a recipe published in Gourmet magazine or on the radio. It's all about the underground blog recipes that are gems and I appreciate the wonderful food blog community that I get to have a small part in. So next time I search for a recipe to impress, I will go to my friend bloggers and my own recipe notes before I go for the shiny pictures in Gourmet.
I like simple yet elegant recipes. If I am going to get all the special ingredients and go through all the complicated steps to make something, I expect it to be REALLY, REALLY GOOD and worth my time. And that's all I have to say about that. I dust myself off and get back in the kitchen.
I would improve this recipe but, I can't get my hands on the blood oranges as easily as I did last week. If you want to try this recipe and improve upon it, I have posted it below.
Blood Orange Cake
2 cups Unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup coarsely ground polenta
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
teeny bit of salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 tbs milk
3 tbs blood orange zest
1 1/2 cup blood orange juice (freshly squeezed and strained)
-Preheat oven to 350 F
-Coat a 10" cheesecake pan with butter
-Whisk together flour, polenta, baking powder, and salt
-Place butter, sugar in stand mixer and beat until very fluffy
-Add in eggs one by one
-Add milk and zest
-With mixer off add flour mixture
-Pour cake batter in cake pan and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
-Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
-Let cake cool 5 minutes, the poke holes in warm cake with chopstick in an even pattern
-Pour blood orange juice in holes
-Let cake cool
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream frosting or Mascarpone Honey Frosting
Mascarpone Honey Frosting
16 oz Mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup whipping cream
teeny bit of salt
-Mix mascarpone cheese, honey, vanilla, and salt
-Add in cream until a nice smooth consistency. Add more cream if you need.