Today’s 5 star secret recipe comes from Literati II in Santa Monica. Pastry chef Kimberly Sklar makes a delicious polenta cake with roasted cherries. She roasts the cherries in a vanilla, brandy and sugar slurry, then she serves them with an almondy polenta cake. The flavors are a spectacular combination.
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New 5 Star Secret Recipe
Literati II Polenta Cake with Roasted Cherries
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
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Use 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan; dust with 2 teaspoons cornmeal.
Using 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.
Sift the flour, remaining corn meal, baking powder and salt together and fold into the mixture.
Spread 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)
1 cup whipped cream
Wash, stem and pit the cherries; set aside. When the cake is removed from the oven, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, vanilla bean, brandy and the cornstarch slurry. Whisk until combined.
Fold 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.
To 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.
Source: LA Times