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Paganini's Pantry

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Caramel Sauce

Makes 1 cup

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream

Use a larger pan then you think you will need as the mixture will bubble up when the cream is added.  In a non-reactive saucepan, heat sugar, water, and lemon juice.  Allow mixture to melt and as cooking turn a golden caramel color.  Pull sugar mixture off the heat and add heavy cream.  Be careful as mixture will bubble violently.  Mix in cream then add mixture back on the stove and allow to thicken slightly. 


Polenta Cake

Serves 8-12

The texture of this cake is wonderful, especially if you use freshly milled corn. The longer the corn sits after being ground, the more it loses its sweet flavor and becomes starchy. Keep cornmeal in the freezer.

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
8 large egg yolks
1/2 orange, grated zest
1/2 lemon, grated zest
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 cup un-blanched almonds
1/2 cup potato starch
1 cup fine stone-ground cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
8 large egg whites
Confectioners' sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter and line with parchment paper a 9-inch cake pan.

Place butter, ½ cup sugar, egg yolks and citrus zests in large bowl. Add vanilla paste. Beat until light and creamy.

In food processor, combine nuts, starch, cornmeal, and baking powder. Process until finely milled. 

Beat egg whites with remaining ¼ tsp. sugar until they form soft peaks. Gently fold dry ingredients and 1/2 of beaten egg whites into butter mixture, fold in remaining whites just until incorporated. Gently scrape batter into pan.

Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, usually about 25-35 minutes. Do not over bake.

Cool cake briefly in pan on wire rack. Run the tip of knife around the sides of cake to loosen it from pan; invert onto rack. Let it cool overnight.

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