This is the ultimate (gloriously delicious) Healthy-ish dessert. The cake is healthy and the icing is “ish,” but sooooo yummy. Better yet, it’s all gluten-free!
(The cake recipe has been modified from Canyon Ranch Cooks. The icing recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.)
For the Chocolate Polenta Cake:
1 cup plus 2 tbsp skim milk
2 ½ tablespoons cornmeal
3 oz. semisweet chocolate
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
3 tbsp natural sugar
2 whole eggs
3 egg whites
1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
½ tsp baking powder
1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray an 8-inch round spring form pan with cooking spray.
2. Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in cornmeal. Keep whisking until thickened, 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
3. Melt chocolate (carefully) in microwave, zapping for 20 seconds, stirring, then zapping for 10 seconds at a time.
4. Add chocolate to cornmeal mixture. Stir well.
5. Set up a double boiler. (See our post on Molten Chocolate Mint Cakes for instructions on setting up a makeshift double boiler.) Combine sugar, eggs and egg whites in the top part of the double boiler. Whisk until the egg mixture is warm, about 3 minutes.
6. Transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high for 5-8 minutes. The mixture will get huge and fluffy. As soon as it looks like it’s gonna jump out of the bowl, stop beating.
7. Meanwhile, add applesauce to the chocolate cornmeal mixture. Mix well.
8. Sprinkle baking powder over chocolate polenta mixture. Mix.
9. Add half of the fluffy egg mixture to the chocolate polenta mixture. Gently fold. Add the rest of the fluffy egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir gently until combined.
10. Pour batter into cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
For the Peppermint Icing:
10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp peppermint extract
1 tbsp heavy cream
1. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. (You’ll have to stop and scoop the butter out of the whisk every once in a while.)
2. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is buttered, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat until totally combined.
3. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts and heavy cream.
4. Beat at medium speed for about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high. Beat for 4 minutes or so, until icing is light and fluffy.
*One note of caution: Adding more peppermint extract than a recipe calls for may sound like a good idea. It’s not. It burns. (Speaking from experience, although not with this recipe…)