Savory Polenta Cake is a brilliant side dish to go alongside meats, poultry or salads. Vegetarian, with a gluten-free option, this recipe is full of delicious, fresh herbs and and earthy, caramelized mushrooms.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and use about 1 tablespoon of the melted butter to grease a 9 x 3-inch round cake pan. Then line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
Add the water, sherry, thyme, sage, 1 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and dried mushrooms to a small 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 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, Parmesan, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Once the porcini mushrooms are soft, remove the lid and add the Sherry Mushrooms to them. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs and remaining 5 tablespoons of melted butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in this wet mixture and mushrooms. Mix everything together.
Pour the mixture into the cake pan, and use a flat-bottomed spreader to smooth the top.
Bake in the preheated 400°F oven until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Lightly cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then let cool for another 30 minutes before serving.