Individual Strawberry and Polenta Cakes with a Lime Basil Gimlet
Makes: 4 cakes and 1 cocktail
Ingredients for Strawberry and Polenta Cakes with Lemon Glaze:
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely ground cornmeal or semolina flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of kosher salt
- 13 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup strawberries, sliced
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk, plus more to thin
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or 1 teaspoon lemon extract)
Ingredients for the Lime Basil Gimlet:
- 5 large basil leaves
- 1½ ounces gin (optional)
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- sparkling water or club soda (if making non-alcoholic version - note below)
Procedure for Strawberry and Polenta Cakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease and lightly flour a jumbo muffin pan or mini loaf pans, tapping out any excess flour. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, toss the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar together with an electric mixer, until pale yellow and creamy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the whole eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and blend until just combined.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan/pans. Place the strawberry slices on top of the batter. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the fruit and batter. Bake until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
- Combine the confectioners' sugar, milk, and lemon juice to make the glaze and serve over cooked cakes.
Procedure for Lime Basil Gimlet:
- Put 4 basil leaves in a cocktail shaker and press them gently with a muddler or a wooden spoon.
- Add the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup.
- Fill with ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe or other small glass.
- Garnish with the remaining basil leaf.
Note: To make this non-alcoholic, shake and strain all ingredients except the gin. Pour into your glass and top with sparkling water or club soda.