Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tour of Italy ~ Day 26... Detour for Desserts

Happy Birthday to the Momma of the Pantry! and because it is my birthday it is time for Dessert and a couple of my favorite Italian desserts are Cornmeal Cakes and Gelatos. Cornmeal Cakes come mainly from the Piedmont and Vento areas and Gelato's are known all over italy. Today we will feature two of my favorites...

Cornmeal Cakes with Honey and Walnuts

"Cornmeal replace flour in this dense, moist cake. The center falls a bit as it cooks. From Lo Scoiattolo Restaurant in the small town of Carcoforo, Italy."


    • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 large egg whites
    • 10 walnut halves


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F Butter 9-inch diameter springform pan. Wrap outside of pan with foil.
  2. Mix cornmeal, chopped walnuts, baking powder and salt in small bowl.
  3. Beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in honey, then 3/4 cup sugar. Stir in cornmeal mixture (batter will be very stiff).
  4. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in medium bowl to soft peaks. Gradually add remaining 2 T sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Place walnut halves around top edge of cake, spacing evenly.
  5. Bake until cake is deep golden on top, pulls away from sides of pan and tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack (cake will fall in center as it cools). (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover adn let stand at room temperature.).
  6. Run sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. Cut cake into wedges and serve.
  7. We like our cornmeal cakes glazed with a light lemon glaze.  Lemon Glaze: 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 3-4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon Lemon zest,  mix together and pour over cooled cakes.

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