What makes this thing so good? Crunchy cornmeal. Sweet and slightly tangy ricotta. It's like your favorite cornbread made little dessert babies with a cheesecake. LORD this is yummy. But it also loses freshness fast. Make it on the day you plan to serve--ahem, scarf--it, wrap leftovers tightly and store at room temperature.
As you can see, we served it with hand-whipped cream (that's right--hand whipped, thank you David) and a little bit of jam we heated in the micro.
Cornmeal Ricotta Cake
Serves 4 easily; ready just over an hour; based on this recipe from the LA Times, which includes orange zest and fresh cranberries--yum!--but not what I was going for...
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup stone-ground cornmeal (aka polenta)
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
5 Tbsp butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
- Preheat oven to 350º. In one bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, and powder. In another, whisk together egg, syrup, oil, and vanilla. Set aside.
- With electric mixer, beat butter with sugar and salt until thoroughly combined. Add half of flour mixture and beat again, just until mixed. Now, switch to a spatula because you DON'T want to overmix. Gently stir in ricotta and rest of flour mixture. Again, DON'T over mix here. Just until combined.
- Pour into greased 4-inch square or 5-inch round pan. Spread to cover. Bake 35-40 minutes, until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool at least 20 minutes.