Thursday, 14 July 2011

Off-Grid Baking 8: Chocolate Almond Polenta Cake

This was an experiment really - I've not used polenta (Italian cornmeal) in cakes much before. I did make one for my mum when she visited but the verdict was the the polenta was too gritty (so I didn't blog that one!). So I tried a recipe where the polenta is soaked first since I has some left. The polenta was pretty difficult to mix in though as it's quite sticky. So in general I don't think I'll be buying it again, but this cake was quite nice. It's moist, but contains no butter or other fat apart from what's in the chocolate so it's not as unhealthy as some recipes I've posted in the past!

  • 50g quick cook polenta (or one packet ready made polenta)
  • 200g plain chocolate
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 115g ground almonds
  • 4tbsp plain flour
  • 115g blanched almonds
  • icing sugar for decoration
  1. Place the polenta in a bowl and add enough boiling water just to cover. Stir well, cover and leave to stand until all the water is absorbed (approx 30 mins). If using ready made polenta move directly to step 2.
  2. Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 4 and grease and line the base of a round deep cake tin 
  3. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water
  4. Whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until the mixture is thick and pale. Beat in the melted chocolate then fold in the moistened polenta, ground almonds and flour 
  5. Whisk the egg whites in a clean grease free bowl until stiff. Lightly stir in some of the whites into the chocolate cake mixture and then fold in the rest followed by the blanched almonds.
  6. Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch. Cool on a rack then dust with icing sugar.

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