Nick, thanks again for your lemon polenta cake recipe (linked below). Finally got around to making it last night (after a last-minute run at 9pm for eggs!). Sorry for the enormous pic below, but I'm still trying to figure out how to resize w/ this new server. As you can see, it was a golden beauty!
Let me say that your recipe worked very well. One procedural change for me would be to cream the sugar, eggs, butter, and ricotta together before adding in the oil, juice, and zest. Once I added the oil, it was more difficult to get the ricotta and butter to emulsify w/ everything.
I opted for Meyer lemons, so reduced the sugar to 3/4 c. and used a tad less zest. My mods also included adding about 1/2 tbsp. of chopped rosemary and baking in a loaf pan. I also added a thin lemon glaze (juice and powdered sugar) after it came out of the oven since I wasn't planning to serve w/ any sauce. Even though I made it in loaf form, it took exactly 40 min. in the oven as well.
The lemon and rosemary smelled of the outdoors (think Aveda shampoo), and the Meyers and olive oil gave it a rich egg yolk like color that pics couldn't quite capture.
Now for the taste: I LOVE the flavor combo of Meyer lemon and rosemary. Perfect amount of lemon flavor and not too sweet. Ricotta was a great ingredient IMO and added a certain depth of flavor and moisture.
For me though, the texture is something that needs to grow on me. While I love the concept of a polenta cake, using some coarse polenta gives it a rougher, larger crumb and bite that takes some getting used to. Since I love the flavor, next time I will keep everything constant except I will add in more flour (and perhaps use cake flour instead) and take out the coarse polenta. If anyone has any ideas for how to get a smoother texture, please share!
Perfect treat to pack for lunch or gussy it up w/ soft whipped cream and strawberries for dessert. Mmmmmm...