Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Polenta Cake (NOT placenta cake)

What shall I make for pud? A pretty normal sounding question which resulted in a pretty scary answer: a very excited scream of 'PLACENTA CAKE!!! Definitely make placenta cake!'. After several minutes of horrified protest from me, my Mother explained that this is what my hilarious Father likes to call polenta cake. Despite his gross name for it, his enthusiasm made me want to make it right away, this recipe was cut out of some magazine by my Mum years ago and gets pulled out every once in a while when my Dad is in the mood for delicious moist lemony polenta goodness, not pregnancy-based offal. Eurgh.

Because this requires a little precision, I will list the ingredients in a more organised way than my usual slap-dash fashion.
Feeds around 8 with leftovers.

350g demerara sugar

4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest 2 lemons
250ml light olive oil (why is this cake so moist? Oh that's why)
250ml fruity white wine
300g plain flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
125g dried polenta

To make it pretty and extra delish:
450g soft summer fruits ( I used rasberries on their own)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
A sprinkling of chopped fresh mint
You will also need a 25cm spring-form cake tin lined with grease-proof paper.

Preheat oven to 180, 160 fan oven, gas 4.  Sprinkle 3 tbsp demerara sugar over base of prepared tin. Beat together the rest of the sugar, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest, then pour in the oil & wine & beat to mix well.

Sift together flour, baking powder and polenta, then add this to the wet mixture and combine well.  Pour over the sugar in the prepared tin and bake for 30 mins. Cover with oil and cook for a further 30 mins. Check by inserting a skewer, it should come out clean. I always find it's best to check early as you can always put it back in the oven. Cool in the tin, loosen sides and turn out.

Combine the fruit with the balsamic and add the sugar. Leave in fridge for 30 mins. Serve the warm cake (still good cold) with the fruit sprinkled with the chopped mint. You don't have to put the fruit on top, but it elevates it from a great cake to a sublime cake, it's just gorgeous. For pregnant women and those without child, alike. 

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