Today is the first full day of Spring and we need to celebrate with cake! So, I started rummaging through my pantry and fridge looking for something to make.
All I knew while rummaging was that I didn't want anything frosted or chocolate. I wanted something simple, rustic and delicious. Hidden in the back of the fridge, I spotted the red globe grapes that my husband bought a few days back. Some were starting to look a little sad and squishy (ew!), but the rest was still useable. I hate letting anything go to waste.
I knew right away that I wanted to make a polenta cake with these lovely jewel toned beauties. I was inspired by one of my favorite comfort meals: Roasted Chicken with Grapes over Creamy Polenta. A MUST try!
Personally, I don't mind the seeds. I actually like eating them. Always have. My husband in the other hand… not so much. But… I decided to bake with them anyway. More cake for me if he hates it.
Grape Polenta Cake
Makes: 9" cake
6 tablespoons (90 grams) unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 large egg
1/2 cup almond milk*
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (65 grams) coarse ground yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 1/2 cups red globe grapes or any seedless grapes
2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
*You can use regular milk or buttermilk. Almond milk is what I happen to have in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter a 9" springform pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla paste, lemon zest and egg until well combined. Reduce speed to low, beat in the dry ingredients and milk in 3 additions (starting and ending with dry ingredients).
Pour batter into prepared springform pan. Randomly arrange or form a pattern with the grapes on-top of cake batter. Don't worry about pushing the grape into the cake. They will sink as the cake bakes. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes (depending on your oven).