Polenta Cake with Italian Prune Plums

This luscious cake is kissed with juicy Italian plums and citrus peel.

Ingredients:
4 Italian prune plums, pitted and cut into wedges
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
1½ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks, plus 2 full eggs
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon or orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
Crème fraîche for serving (optional)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan; line bottom with a 9-inch circle of parchment paper. Arrange plums on parchment in pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over the plums. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and beat until light. Add egg yolks and eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add lemon peel and vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Spoon batter over plums in pan and spread evenly.

4. Bake about 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove sides of pan; cool cake completely. Invert cake onto serving platter; remove bottom of pan and parchment. If desired, serve with crème fraîche.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

This rustic cake has a slightly-crunchy texture courtesy of polenta and is beautifully flavored by olive oil.

Ingredients:
Farm & Larder lemon olive oil cake mix
½ cup olive oil
1 cup milk or buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup crème fraîche or whipped cream

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9-inch cake pan or cast iron skillet with 2-inch sides with some of the olive oil.

2. Whisk together milk or buttermilk, eggs, lemon peel, vanilla, and olive oil. Pour the cake mix into this milk mixture and fold together with a spatula until just combined; do not over-mix. Scrape batter into greased pan and spread evenly.

3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean and cake pulls away from sides of pan. Immediately run a knife around edge of cake, and turn cake out onto a cooling rack. Allow cake to cool before cutting.

4. To serve, slice cake into wedges and top with your choice of fresh berries and a generous dollop of crème fraîche.

For optional cake glaze: Combine ¾ cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, adding more lemon juice if needed. Drop by spoonfuls over cake after it has been placed on cooling rack, spreading within half an inch of the cake’s sides.

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Soup’s On Recipes

What a snowy week it has been! As the flakes turn to raindrops, we’ve got an incredibly-satisfying menu of warm and cozy favorites to help ward off any pervading winter chill: Housemade French lentil soup crafted from seasonal veg, smoky pancetta and our own chicken stock, Gruyère cheese bread to serve alongside, and all the ingredients to make your own buckwheat crêpes with earthy mushroom filling. Also included: A beautiful bounty of greens fit for braising, both our signature citronette dressing and crème fraîche, as well as produce like red beets, Mokum carrots, Black Spanish radishes and a medley of crisp apples.

Here are a few recipe ideas for the week:

Buckwheat Crêpes
Once you perfect the technique here, start playing with your favorite fillings. This week, we’ve given you our earthy mushroom filling to try!

Radicchio Salad with Cara Cara Oranges & Shaved Black Radish
This lovely salad is sure to brighten up even the gloomiest gray day.

Braised Greens
These tender greens are a great side dish.

Grana Cheese-Roasted Broccolini
Tossed with garlic breadcrumbs and nutty Grana cheese, this tender broccolini is fantastic tossed with pasta or served atop grilled bread.

Frizzled Leeks
These crispy leeks are a wonderful garnish for salads, soups or main dish proteins like beef, pork or salmon.

European-Style Buckwheat Cake
Known as schwarzplententorte in German or torta di granosaraceno in Italian, this wonderfully moist and dense cake is usually eaten for breakfast together with a big cup of coffee—or as a morning or afternoon snack.

European-Style Buckwheat Cake

Known as schwarzplententorte in German or torta di granosaraceno in Italian, this wonderfully moist and dense cake is usually eaten for breakfast together with a big cup of coffee—or as a morning or afternoon snack.

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups sugar
6 eggs, separated
2¼ cups buckwheat flour
2¼ cups almonds, skins on if possible, pulverised into almond meal
1 apple, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Your favorite berry preserves
Powdered sugar

Method:
1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks and beat until pale and creamy. Add the buckwheat, almond meal, grated apple and vanilla extract until just combined.

2. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold in, bit by bit, into the batter until well combined and pour batter into a greased and lined round baking tin.

3. Bake at 350º for about 50 minutes or until the cake is deep golden brown on top and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, remove cake from tin and slice in half lengthways. Spread the bottom layer with a healthy spreading of jam and replace the top layer. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.

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