TWD #10: Getting jiggy w/ figgy

April 29, 2008 at 12:19 am 37 comments


♫ Getting jiggy with it
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na
Getting jiggy with it ♪

I don’t own a 10-1/2 inch tart plate. Whenever I need “flutes” I bust out my trusty old-school cupcake foil liners. Voila! Flutes! Easy peasy lemon squeezy. LOL

Maybe one of these days I’ll splurge on a cutesy tart pan but right now I’ve got my eye on the beater blade next month. Until then my cupcake liners will do just peachy. thankyouverymuch.

I can see why Dorie doesn’t have a picture for this cake. Its not an overly photogenic cake or maybe its just *this* photographer that can’t make it look as appetizing as say… the current cover of the book – Devil’s Food White Out Cake. Now that is a show stopper!

The recipe calls for 2 ingredients that I had never tried before – figs and polenta. I have to say that those 2 ingredients almost stopped me from making this cake altogether. There must be a reason why I haven’t tried figs (and polenta) before right?! The flavors just don’t appeal to me. But… joining TWD has given me a profound willingness to try the unknown and I decided to bite the bullet for this month’s host and oblige her figgy wishes.

What I learned this week:
I do not like dried figs. Ironically I like fig newtons. Go figure.

Hosted by Caitlin @ Engineer Baker
Check out the Tuesdays w/ Dorie blogroll on the side menu bar.

Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cupcake
(Recipe from DG Baking: From my home to yours pages 200-201 | photos from me!)

Click image to enlarge


About 16 moist, plump dried Mission or Kadota figs, stemmed
1 cup medium-grain polenta or yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup ricotta
1/3 cup tepid water
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 tbsp cut into small bits and chilled
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 10-1/2 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

[NOTES: Recipe made 16 cupcakes for me.]

Check that the figs are, indeed, moist and plump. If they are the least bit hard, toss them into a small pan of boiling water and steep for a minute, then drain and pat dry. If the figs are large (bigger than a bite), snip them in half.

My figgys chill-laxing and steeping in their hot tub.

Whisk the polenta, flour, baking powder, and salt together. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the ricotta and water together on low speed until very smooth. With the mixer at medium speed, add the sugar, honey, and lemon zest and beat until light. Beat in the melted butter, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until the mixture is smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are fully incorporated. You’ll have a sleek, smooth, pourable batter.

Click image to enlarge

Pour about one third of the batter into the pan and scatter over the figs. Pour in the rest of the batter, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, if necessary, and dot the batter evenly with the chilled bits of butter.

Click image to enlarge

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake should be honey brown and pulling away just a little from the sides of the panm, and the butter will have left light-colored circles in the top. Transfer the cake to a rack and remove the sides of the pan after about 5 minutes. Cool to warm, or cool completely.

[NOTES: I baked cupcakes for 25 minutes.]

Click image to enlarge


Husband rating: A-
He likes cornbread texture and figs so wasn’t as wary about this recipe like me. Its not his favorite but he liked it. He said that a different fruit might make it a solid A though.

Wifey rating: B
The “cake” reminded me of a sweet honey cornbread but I wasn’t a fan of the fig chunks. Maybe if it was a fruit that I liked it would raise the grade. *shrugs

Next week: Peanut Butter Torte pages 282-283


Entry filed under: Tuesdays With Dorie, Uncategorized.

Day 28 NFR: Got twitter?

37 Comments Add your own

  • 1. April  |  April 29, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Your figgy cupcakes are very cute!!

  • 2. Gretchen Noelle  |  April 29, 2008 at 4:30 am

    Aahh, too bad the figs turned you off. Cupcake liners, of course!

  • 3. NinaBeth  |  April 29, 2008 at 4:44 am

    Looks delicious… based on your review of the figs, I’m glad I couldn’t find any at the store. :)

  • 4. Madam Chow  |  April 29, 2008 at 4:53 am

    Those turned out great, and I love the idea of making them into cupcakes!

  • 5. Mary Ann  |  April 29, 2008 at 5:01 am

    very interesting- i never would have thought to make cupcakes@!

  • 6. LyB  |  April 29, 2008 at 5:02 am

    Very, very cute! Maybe another dried fruit would have been more to your liking, I know I preferred cranberries, but I’ve seen many variations, this is a great tinkering cake!

  • 7. Jayne  |  April 29, 2008 at 5:56 am

    Those are adorable! I like the pretty flower-like layout of the figs inside the cupcake liners! And your writing cracks me up!

  • 8. Rebecca  |  April 29, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Hooray for trying the unknown and not wussing out! Now, bring on the chocolate and peanut butter. ;)

  • 9. Marie  |  April 29, 2008 at 6:45 am

    Your little cakes are so cute! I love eating dried figs and I love fig newtons, but was not totally crazy about them in this cake. My husband on the other hand loved it! There’s just no accounting for taste I guess!

  • 10. Ulrike aka ostwestwind  |  April 29, 2008 at 7:11 am

    The cupcakes are so cute, what a great idea!
    Ulrike from Küchenlatein

  • 11. katrina  |  April 29, 2008 at 8:51 am

    The cupcakes are cute!

  • 12. annestrawberry  |  April 29, 2008 at 9:19 am

    I like the cupcakes! Way to try something new!

  • 13. Bumblebutton  |  April 29, 2008 at 9:21 am

    You are a genius to think of cupcake liners…never would have thought of that. I used dried apricots, which were good. But, now you know, right? Anyway, the figs bathing were a hoot!

  • 14. kdgreen  |  April 29, 2008 at 10:19 am

    so simply creative with the cupcake liners. Next week on to something we all know and love….peanut butter and chocolate!

  • 15. Hygeian Stew  |  April 29, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Best title ever! Made me laugh, but now I’ve got that song stuck in my head.

  • 16. Donna  |  April 29, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Cupcake liners! Why didn’t I think of that? At least you can peel them off. I used a fluted pie pan and I couldn’t get it to release.
    I also dislike figs. YUK! I used apricots instead!

  • 17. April  |  April 29, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Um, as Will would famously say…”Umm…I can’t like that” LOL Not a fig fan, but these are definitely something different to branch out on!

  • 18. CB  |  April 29, 2008 at 10:29 am

    APRIL, trust me. I agree with Will. I can’t like that neither. LOL

  • 19. Michelle H  |  April 29, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Those look so cute! Try dried cranberries, they are fantastical. :-)

  • 20. Heather  |  April 29, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Great idea with the cupcakes! They look so cute! I used dried cranberries in mine and they were really good with the cake!

  • 21. steph  |  April 29, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    that’s an excellent way to improvise flutes!

  • 22. Tammy  |  April 29, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I made individaul cakes too – they look much cuter than the bigger one I think

  • 23. Caitlin  |  April 29, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Hehe, jiggy with figgy – thanks for humoring me and trying it, even though you weren’t a huge fan!

  • 24. Lori  |  April 29, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I give this cake a b+ but I love cornbread and figs. i like how you two rate it, very cute. nice jon your post. It was a nice read.

  • 25. bridget  |  April 29, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    I thought the polenta thing sounded pretty weird too, until I remembered that that basically meant cornmeal. And yeah, figs – I try so hard to like them, but I’m still not there. But you can totally substitute other dried fruits.

  • 26. Shirlie  |  April 29, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Great post! You’re right about the cakes not being very photogenic. That said, your cupcake pictures are really cute, I like how it looks like you’ve hidden the figs inside!

  • 27. Shari  |  April 29, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    The cupcake idea is a great one!

  • 28. kim  |  April 29, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    your cupcakes are perfect! way to take a stand against the tart pan… i’m starting to think dorie somehow gets a cut of our pan purchases ;)

  • 29. mimi  |  April 29, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    love your little ratings! and your cupcakes came out lovely! nice to try something new!

  • 30. Amy W  |  April 30, 2008 at 4:42 am

    Huh, I like fig newtons too!

  • 31. Amy W  |  April 30, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Sorry, I forget to log in with the correct site…and great job on the cupcakes…

  • 32. Liliana  |  April 30, 2008 at 7:20 am

    You did a great job on your cupcakes! They look delicious.

  • 33. Mari  |  April 30, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I think your mini-cakes are cute! So what you didn’t enjoy the figgy, you got jiggy with it anyway, and that’s what counts! ;-)

  • 34. Natalie  |  April 30, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Ooh, pretty cupcakes! I have a really hard time taking pictures of light colored stuff too – mine all washed out when I took pics of the cut piece.

  • 35. Cecilia  |  May 1, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Yeah for mini-cakes! They look really cute, but I have to disagree with you. I think this cake is quite beautiful in its simplicity. It’s not a show stopper like the cake on the front cover, but it’s a subtle beauty.

  • 36. beth  |  May 1, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Great job! I loved that you turned this week’s recipe into a cupcake :)

  • 37. Dolores  |  May 5, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Heh… my nephew crowned these the cream of wheat of cupcakes; he wasn’t impressed either. I found they paired quite nicely with cheese and wine though.


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