Domenica's Carrot & Polenta Cake
If you know me, then you know I love a good carrot cake.
Not the oily kind made with pineapple and coconut and overly sweet cream cheese icing, but a real carrot cake, the kind where you taste the sweet carrots.
I think once you try this Italian version of carrot cake, you will be hooked. It's moist and delicious with a beautiful texture from the polenta.
It is from the book The Glorious Vegetables of Italy, by Domenica Marchetti. I have most of her cookbooks, and every recipe I have tried has been a winner.
I took the liberty of adding in raisins to this cake, and I am glad I did. The raisins w/ the Marsala wine was the perfect flavor enhancer.
I baked this cake in a 9" springform pan for the recommended time of 35 minutes.
This cake freezes beautifully and stays moist for days (if it lasts that long!).
I hope you try it.
Domenica's Carrot & Polenta Cake: (adapted from The Glorious Vegetables of Italy)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely ground polenta (I used regular cornmeal)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups shredded carrots (about 3 large)
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 9" springform pan with butter. I line the bottom of my cake pan with a circle of parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, granulated sugar, eggs, Marsala wine, and the lemon and orange zests until well blended (the sugar will not completely dissolve and the batter might feel weird when stirring).
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, polenta, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture, whisking all the while to avoid lumps. Using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the shredded carrots.
Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan 30 minutes then unmold and transfer to a cooling rack.
When the cake is totally cooled, dust with powdered sugar.