The Wiivers

Tuesdays with Dorie!
April 29, 2008, 6:33 am
Filed under: Dessert, Tuesday's With Dorie

Yes, I have finally succummed to peer pressure and joined the fabulous group of people called Tuesdays with Dorie.  If you haven’t heard of TWD, you must be living under a rock (just kidding).  TWD is a group of people who once a week bake a recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s book:  Baking, From my home to yours.


I found the book for an amazing price of less than $12 (including shipping) on ebay.  So, if you want to join TWD and get the cookbook, make sure you look there first.

So, onto this week’s TWD recipe.  Caitlin of Engineer Baker chose Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake.  When I first saw the recipe, I will admit, I was extremely disappointed.  The name did not sound good at all too me.  I was semi-upset that the first recipe was not to my liking and that maybe I should skip this week.  But since we were watching John’s sisters this weekend, I thought it would be fun to try it. 

Pouring the ingredients into the mixer. 

The Girls

Intense concentration…


The finished product.

Finished Cake

Hannah loved the dessert!

Hannah eating

As did I.

Last bite

Since I wasn’t sure what this was going to taste like, I just made 1/2 a recipe of this.  I think that’s why my “cake” is so short.  Hannah has been learning about fractions in school, so this was the perfect opportunity to practice her fractions.  I think it was neat to show her a “real life” application of what she is learning in school.

I am so glad that Caitin chose this recipe, I never would have made it on my own, but it was simply delicious.  It was the perfect afternoon snack.  I couldn’t find figs in my town so I used some frozen strawberries.  They were excellent!  They melted while baking and turned into almost a jam-like consistency.  Hannah thought it would also be good, to leave the strawberries out of the cake and just smear a layer of them on top.

Also, those of you that have been reading my blog for awhile, may have noticed something “new” in my pictures… I finally got “my” KA mixer back!  I bought this mixer on Amazon 3 years ago for a steal of a price, but it was too tall to fit under my cabinet.  So, my mother so graciously offered to let me borrow her KA (a much smaller = shorter model) until I moved and I had a space for it.  Well, I have been cooking/baking so much lately I have really been thinking how nice it would be to have my bigger KA mixer.  So, this weekend, I went to my mom’s house and stole asked nicely for an old desk that she wasn’t really using.  At the same time, we switched KA’s back.  I put the desk under the big window in my kitchen, I think it looks pretty good?  The desk is the perfect size for mixer, cookbook, and whatever I am measuring.  I love it!

New Desk Area

Recipe after the break.

 Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake

 About 16 moist, plump dried Mission or Kadota figs, stemmed I couldn’f find figs, so I used  a handful of frozen strawberries

1 c. medium-grain polenta or yellow cornmeal

½ c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 c. ricotta

1/3 c. tepid water

¾ c. sugar I used slightly less

¾ c. honey (if you’re a real honey lover, use a full-flavored honey such as chestnut, pine, or buckwheat) I used slightly less

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 large eggs


Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter a 10 ½-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.


Check that the figs are, indeed, moist and plump.  If they are the least bit hard, toss them into a small pan of boiling water and steep for a minute, then drain and pat dry.  If the figs are large (bigger than a bite), snip them in half.


Whisk the polenta, flour, baking powder, and salt together.


Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the ricotta and water together on low speed until very smooth.  With the mixer at medium speed, add the sugar, honey, and lemon zest and beat until light.  Beat in the melted butter, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until the mixture is smooth.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are fully incorporated.  You’ll have a sleek, smooth, pourable batter.


Pour about one third of the batter into the pan and scatter over the figs.  Pour in the rest of the batter, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, if necessary, and dot the batter evenly with the chilled bits of butter.


Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  The cake should be honey brown and pulling away just a little from the sides of the pan, and the butter will have left light-colored circles in the top.  Transfer the cake to a rack and remove the sides of the pan after about 5 minutes.  Cool to warm, or cool completely.


26 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Neeners! So glad you joined! $12?? damn what a steal! If I make this again I’ll have to try your strawberry rec since I LURVE strawberries and I bet that would taste delish. Welcome to TWD. Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Comment by CB

Thanks for the encouragement on my blog. I may try this again with a finer cornmeal and a tarter fruit. I think it needs something tart to counteract the sweetness. Sweet pictures of the girls helping you. Welcome to the club.

Comment by annmartina

Beautiful! Great idea with the strawberries, I bet it was delicious!

Comment by LyB

Welcome aboard! I’m digging the addition of strawberries, too, I’ll have to try that next time!

Comment by mari

Fractions, kitchen help,. strawberries, and stealing back a fabulous mixer? You’ve got it all! Nice job, and welcome!

Comment by Bumblebutton

Yeah, Nina! I’m with your SIL, Hannah, I’d like it with strawberry jam on top and no fruit inside.
Love the KA/desk setup! Looks fabulous 🙂

Comment by beth

Jam on top would be great. Welcome to the group!

Comment by kdgreen

Welcome to TWD! Good recipe to make with the girls. Glad you tried it!

Comment by Rebecca

Glad you joined and your recipe was a success. Cute helpers!

Comment by Donna

Great writing and photos! I love the kitchen aid on the desk…it deserves a place of honor, looks like you’ve found that special place!

Comment by Karen

I am very happy to have my old white Kitchen Aid back home, it has served us all well since 1990.
And I love it even if it is shorter and has a smaller bowl than your newer one.

Comment by Rhonda a.k.a Nina's Momma

Looks like you guys had fun working together on the recipe! Nice job!

Comment by Cheryl

Isnt it cool that it was so good. Great bargain find by the way,

Comment by Lori

Great idea with the strawberry’s! I’m glad you made this a group effort!

Comment by Hygeian Stew

Welcome to the group! I love that you had some little helpers. They are so cute. And what a great idea using the strawberries. I’ll have to try that one!

Comment by Amy P

what a steal on that book! that great that you and girls loved it!

Comment by steph

Great post – looks like you had some good helpers, too!

Comment by Jayne

ooh, the strawberries sound like they’d be nice.

New mixer, math lesson and dessert all in one! Wow.

Comment by katrina

gerat cake and cute helpers!

Comment by Tammy

Thanks for jumping into TWD feet-first! I’m glad you liked the cake!

Comment by Caitlin

So nice that you have joined – it’s such a fun group. Cake looks delicious.

Comment by Heather Peskin

Welcome to the group! And I’m glad you ended up liking the cake – it was different, wasn’t it?

Comment by Natalie

The photos and narrative surely do convey that you “three girls” had a fun time baking. John’s sisters already loved you, and now after cooking with you they will love you even more. And how clever of you to have a lesson on fractions at the same time. Thanks for phoning last evening. The Election Judge (your Pa) let me be off until noon today as it is another 12 hour day at the polls…Love You

Comment by RoRo

Wow. As soon as I read that you got a good deal on a stand mixer on Amazon, I immediately started searching for one on the web.

I’m glad that you enjoyed the cake, and your two helpers are precious. The desk was definitely a nice steal.

Comment by Cecilia

Since you commented twice on my tart, I figured I’d come back and give you another pat on the back. Great job, Nina!! 🙂

Comment by beth

KitchenAid is a home appliance brand owned by Whirlpool Corporation. The company was started in 1919 by The Hobart Corporation to give restaurants

Comment by svittchart

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: