Posts Tagged ‘blueberry polenta cake’

Best of the Southwest and Best of the Northwest in ONE WEEK!

Posted July 30th, 2011 in In the Kitchen, Posts, Serving with Style

Last week I took a much needed vacation with my family.  My mother has a few items left on her bucket list and she is trying to check them off rapid fire as she turns 85 this year.  She has been trying to get to the Opera in Santa Fe, New Mexico for years and she invited Kaitlin and me to join her and my dad on their vacation.  Kaitlin studied music at a conservatory and actually sang opera so the idea really appealed to her.  To be honest, I was motivated mostly by green chili but the opera sounded good too. We saw La Boheme with a New Mexican sunset backdrop and it was truly magical!

Since Kaitlin and I watch a lot of food TV like the Iron Chef we like to experience restaurants headed up by famous celebrity chefs.  We scoped out the restaurant selections and found “The Compound” owned by Mark Kiffin, a James Beard Winner, Best Chef of the Southwest in 2005.  This restaurant was a lovely white adobe and the menu was very high end.  We tried things we had never had like Beef Tartar with soft egg on top and then had some perfectly grilled diver scallops with fava bean, pea and asparagus emulsion with lemon vinegar.  For dessert we had an unbelievable dessert that we thought we could adapt for using Oregon Fruit. It was a blueberry polenta cake with amaretto cream topped with carmelized plum sauce.  WOW!  is all I can say.  I only wish I had the vocabulary to describe this dessert but what I did do for you is recreate it here.  I think I came pretty close.

At the end of the week, we attended the Oregon Berry Festival with two of our blogger friends- Kimberly Morales from “Poor Girl Eats Well” and Leela Cyd-Ross from “The Kitchn” and shared a table with our new friends, Tim and Dani Vincent of Vincent Family Cranberries who are cranberry growers from the Oregon Coast. In the next week or two I will be sharing with you some more experiences from this event but for now let me say that we finished the week with a meal designed by Chef Philippe Boulot, James Beard Winner, Best Chef of the Northwest 2001 at the Heathman Restaurant and Bar in Portland, OR.  Every course was designed around northwest grown berries and included an array of proteins from local goat cheese, to Chinook salmon, to lamb and finally Bison.  The Dessert was truly the grand finale as it was a Berry Trifle with Blueberry, Blackberry, Strawberry, Marionberry and Raspberry compote layered with biscuits and crème chibouste. (None of us knew this word before either-thank goodness for the I-phone. It is a pastry crème lightened with whipped cream. I can’t wait to use this in conversation with someone).

Blueberry Polenta Cake with Carmelized Plums and Amaretto Cream

Posted July 30th, 2011 in Desserts, Recipe


2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup cornmeal

3 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

A pinch of salt

4 eggs

1 1/3 cup fat free Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of one lemon

2 cans Oregon Fruit Blueberries, well drained

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 8 mini bundt pans or one 10 inch bundt pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, oil, yogurt, brown sugar,vanilla bean paste, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth.

3. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. add dry ingredients to wet ingredients slowly whisking after each addition until smooth and well combined.

4. Gently fold in the blueberries.

5. Pour the cake mix evenly into the prepared pans.

6. Bake until the cake for 20-25mins for mini pans or 30-35 for 10inch or until toothpick comes out clean.


Amaretto Cream Sauce:

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 ½ cup whole milk,scalded                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         2 Tbs Amaretto Liqueor

½ Tsp vanilla bean paste

½ cup heavy whipping cream, whipped into soft peaks

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the hot milk, stir and pour into medium-sized saucepan. Cook and whisk sauce until it begins to thicken but not boil. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour sauce into medium-sized bowl, add the Amaretto and stir until sauce cools. Add vanilla once sauce is cool.
  3. When completely cool, fold in the whipped cream


Carmelized Plums

1 can Oregon Fruit Plums, drained and pitted; reserve syrup

2 Tbs. Butter

2 Tbs. Brown sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 Tbs cornstarch

In a small sauté pan, melt butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and heat until it begins to carmelize.  Quarter the plums and then stir into the carmelized butter and sugar.

In a small saucepan, whisk the cornstarch into the plum syrup. Heat until mixture is thickened and clear. 


Plate individual cakes, then top with a dollop of amaretto cream, divide the carmelized plums evenly and then drizzle with the syrup. 

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