This Mushroom Polenta Cake is intensely flavorful and extremely hearty. And believe it or not, this dish is both vegetarian and gluten-free! Oh my!
While I find the sweet cake intriguing and will definitely try it soon, I wanted to create something similar but savory.Just look at the yummy carmelization on these Sautéed Sherry Mushrooms that will fill the cake!
This would of course be a lovely addition to my “sofa dinner party” this coming weekend!
P.S. La Cucina Italiana is one of my favorite food magazines! It’s beautiful and always inspires me.
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped, fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped, fresh sage
- 1-3/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, broken into small pieces
- 2 cups instant polenta
- 1-1/2 cups potato flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups Sautéed Sherry Mushrooms (here's the recipe)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Add the stock, sherry, all of the herbs, salt, and dried mushrooms to a large stock pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, turn the heat off, keep the pot covered, and let the mushrooms hydrate to become soft, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine the polenta, potato flour, baking soda, sugar and cheese.
- Once the porcini mushrooms are soft, uncover and bring the mixture to a boil once again. Once it's boiling, add the Sautéed Sherry Mushrooms and turn the heat off.
- Now very slowly and gradually, add the polenta mixture in a steady stream, constantly stirring. Add the butter and stir only until you have a thick, creamy mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 x 3-inch baking dish and use a flat-bottomed spatula to smooth the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit on a cooling rack for at least 45 minutes before serving. (Cover it with foil after the first 15 minutes.)
If you want to take one extra step, this is also fabulous if you slice it once it's very firm (the next day), and then fry the slices in olive oil -- it adds an additional "crust."
Up to 1 day and at least 30 before making the polenta: Make the Sautéed Sherry Mushrooms.
About 1-1/2 hours ahead: Hydrate the porcini mushrooms.
1 hour ahead: Mix the polenta and begin baking.
You can make this 1 day ahead. Let it cool completely and cover it tightly before refrigerating overnight. Before serving, bring the cake to room temperature, and warm it in a 375 degree F oven, just until it’s hot all the way through, about 20 minutes.