Waffled Polenta Dolce
Vorrei sei polenta dolce per favore.
Not sure what to expect when I placed my order with one of the food trucks at the mercato in Bra, I was simply following the lead of the folks ahead of me in line. A sound practice when it comes to street food in Italy. I received six piping hot bright yellow diamond shaped pieces of fried polenta served in a paper cone. The polenta dolce turned out to be deliciously addictive, a crispy golden crust with a moist, slightly sweet interior, scented with lemon. I went back for more, twice.
Narrow cobblestone streets lined with interesting shops and cafes, Bra is a town easily explored on foot. I was especially thrilled to discover a few lovely little food styling props and linens in an antique shop in town.
Every time I use one of those props, I remember how tasty that polenta was that Friday morning in Bra, which results in frequent cravings.
So, Polenta Dolce cooked in a waffle iron? This recipe is inspired by Instagram.
One Saturday morning a shot of a savoury waffled polenta appeared on my Instagram feed. Monkey see, monkey do. I promptly plugged in my waffle iron and grabbed some leftover cheesy polenta from the fridge. I fried up a couple of strips of crispy bacon and an egg, and wow, the perfect breakfast for a cold winter morning.
Since discovering the joy of leftover polenta crisped in a waffle iron, I have been wanting to try a sweet version. So this is my spin on Polenta Dolce, cooked in a waffle iron.
- 1 cup instant polenta
- 5 cups water
- 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- zest of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter
Bring water, sugar, maple syrup, salt, and lemon zest to a boil in a large saucepan. Add polenta in a slow stream whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low, and continue to stir for 3-5 minutes until mixture is thickened. It should be about the consistency of porridge. Stir in the butter, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. The mixture will continue to thicken as it cools, it should feel like mashed potatoes when it is ready to hit the waffle iron.
Preheat the waffle iron set to medium heat. Scoop about a cup of the polenta into the center of the waffle iron and lower the top of the iron. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, check it after 10 minutes or so. It surprised me how long it took to cook these waffles, but I was looking for a crispy golden exterior, and that is how long it took to achieve the desired texture.
Keep the waffles warm in a low oven until you are ready to eat.
Serve with your choice of maple syrup, macerated berries, or my recipe for blackberry syrup below.
- 2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/3 cup raw cane sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring blackberries, sugar, and water slowly to a boil over medium- high heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit becomes soft and liquid begins to thicken.
Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes, before straining through a fine sieve. Press down on the solids to release all of the juices, add the maple syrup and stir to incorporate.
Any leftover syrup will keep in the fridge for a week or so.