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Polenta cake with roasted cherries

Polenta cake with roasted cherries
Los Angeles Times

This time of year, a chef in a farmers market is like a kid in a candy store. Among all the stands overflowing with gorgeous produce, chefs' eyes -- and often their arms -- grow as wide as their imaginations. ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 8

Polenta cake

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon for pan
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fine to medium grind cornmeal plus 2 teaspoons for dusting pan
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar for dusting

Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Use 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan; dust with 2 teaspoons cornmeal.

Step 2Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light in color and fluffy, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl and add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Stir in the almond extract.

Step 3Sift the flour, remaining corn meal, baking powder and salt together and fold into the mixture.

Step 4Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the sugar evenly on top. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Roasted cherries and assembly

  • 4 cups or 1 1/2 pounds Bing cherries
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and seeds scraped and reserved
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
  • Polenta cake
  • 1 cup whipped cream

Step 1Wash, stem and pit the cherries; set aside. When the cake is removed from the oven, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Step 2In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, vanilla bean, brandy and the cornstarch slurry. Whisk until combined.

Step 3Fold in the cherries and place in an 11-by-7-inch glass baking dish. Bake until the cherries are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir after baking 5 minutes.

Step 4To serve, slice the cake and place on a dessert plate. Spoon cherries and sauce on top of the cake. Add a spoonful of whipped cream and serve.

Note: From pastry chef Kimberly Sklar of Literati II. At the restaurant she serves this with almond and cherry swirl ice cream.


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