It’s a shame I’m not better at photographing baked goods, because I’m actually pretty good at making them. I’m pretty good at eating them too. Actually, I’m a little too good at that. For that reason I don’t bake very often, and since when I do the picture is usually terrible, you don’t get to see too many of those indulgent treats on my blog.
But this is an exception.
Not in photo quality, perse, just in the fact that I couldn’t resist sharing it. It would have been wise to spend some time perusing my gal Bridget’s blog for photo inspiration, where I can always count on finding a new and beautifully captured baked good. I suppose I was a little too anxious to get to the part I’m good at: eating.
Obviously I’m lying. Obviously that cut slice in the picture is not the end piece, so you know I ate some before I got to snapping away. It’s just that I was getting frustrated with taking all those photos and not feeling impressed, or even just satisfied, with a single one. I wanted to get back to eating. At least when I was eating, I knew I had done well. Much moreso than one could tell from looking at a picture. My photograph does not tell you anything about the tender crumb with an addicting-ly gritty little bite that comes from yogurt and cornmeal in the mix. It doesn’t convey how fresh figs cook into tender, sweet morsels, or how the cake is just a tad sugary so that most of the sweetness comes from a sticky honey glaze. I probably don’t need to mention how that glaze keeps the cake deliciously moist for days. But I do need to tell you about how it’s infused with rosemary, adding just the right amount of savory, earthy flavor to this sweet treat. Believe me, it still passes for dessert – I wish I had taken a picture of my husband’s face as he took his first bite as proof.
Fresh Fig and Polenta Cake with Honey and Rosemary
1 1/4 cups (150gm) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (75gm) yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (100gm) granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt or strained (I used fat free)
1 cup chopped fresh figs
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons water
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a standard sized loaf pan. If desired, line with parchment (I never know how to get parchment neatly into a loaf pan.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil until smooth. Stir in the yogurt and vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and gently mix just until incorporated. Fold in the chopped figs and pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes.
While the cake is cooling, stir the honey and water together in a small saucepan and add the rosemary sprigs. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let it cool off just a bit.
Poke holes in the top of the cake. Strain the warm syrup and pour it evenly over the cake. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.