Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Polenta Cake with Late-Summer Berries

The wedding I attended on Sunday happened to accomodate me and two vegetarians in the room with a delicious, savory polenta cake and grilled vegetables for dinner. I was delighted to learn that any time they prepare a "vegetarian" entree, they make it vegan by default. The venue has even done entirely vegan weddings! So my praise goes to Tribeca Rooftop.

The great thing about polenta is its versatility -since I had a savory version for dinner the other night, here's a sweet version that works as a dessert.

In a medium bowl, combine one and a half cups all-purpose flour (spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife), 1/3 cup polenta, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/8 tsp. salt. Set aside.

The original recipe calls for 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites. Instead, use egg replacer (such as Ener-G) to make 4 whole eggs. Make 2 "eggs" in each of 2 small bowls. Add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract to one of those bowls, and set both aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup raw sugar and 6 tablespoons softened vegan butter (such as Earth Balance). Beat with a mixer for a full 5 minutes until creamy. Add the vanilla mixture/"eggs" and the second bowl of "eggs", and beat another 2 minutes.

Fold in the flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Pour the batter into an 8x4 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray and bake for one hour at 350 degrees, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool ten minutes on a wire rack in the pan, then remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack. Cut into nine equal slices.

Before dessert time, make the filling: in a food processor or blender, combine one tablespoon raw sugar, 2 tablespoons water and a 10-oz package of frozen raspberries (thawed). Process until smooth, and strain through a sieve into a bowl, discarding the solids.

Combine the sauce with two cups halved strawberries, one cup blueberries, one cup raspberries, and one cup blackberries, tossing to coat.

Heat a grill pan over the stove over medium-high heat (or use the real thing if you have a patio...). Grill the polenta cake slices for one minute on each side. Place one slice on each of nine plates, and top each with half a cup of the berry mixture. Each serving is 320 calories.

cooking spray $5.99
vanilla extract $5.99
sugar $5.29
10-oz frozen raspberries $3.99
strawberries $3.99
blueberries $3.49
raspberries $3.99
blackberries $3.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html