Polenta cakes with goat cheese & black raspberry preserves

Ok, I know, this week has been a little heavy on the goat cheese.  But it’s so good!

This particular recipe was developed as an appetizer for a party where hand-held foods are a must.  Since I typically do something very sweet and dessert-y I decided to make something savory with just a tiny bit of sweet this time.  The overall process takes a while, but could be cut down if you were to use a “log” of polenta  instead (as the cooking is done for you).

Ingredients

9 cups water

Salt

3 cups uncooked polenta

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

12 oz. soft goat cheese at room temperature

1 jar black raspberry (or your personal preference) preserves

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Bring the water, salted, to a boil in a large, nonstick fry pan
  • Add the polenta, reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Remove from heat, stir in the fresh thyme, and let rest while you line a jelly roll pan with foil
  • Transfer the cooked polenta to the jelly roll pan and smooth to the edges of the pan with a rubber or offset spatula
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes
  • Transfer the baked polenta to a large cutting board and cut circles with a biscuit cutter*
  • In a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, mix the goat cheese for 5 minutes to incorporate some air, and make sure that there are no lumps
  • Using a pastry bag pipe the goat cheese on top of each of the polenta rounds
  • Using a teaspoon, dollop the preserves on top of the goat cheese

*I tried both plastic and metal cutters and found plastic to be rather troublesome and metal to work grandly

This recipe was very good as it is, but it could also be changed up in so many ways: add lemon juice and/or zest to the goat cheese; add honey to the goat cheese for a sweeter take; change up the preserves and use a) a different flavor or b) a fresh fruit; add a fresh mint leaf to the top; use orange zest in the polenta instead of thyme.  The list could go on and on.

J