Cherry Polenta Cake

Cherry Polenta Cake // lemony, almondy and gluten-free!

Cherry Polenta Cake

This lovely cake is one hell of a moreish slice: deliciously lemony and studded with glacé cherries.

Polenta makes a substantial cake, ready to absorb lots of juicy lemon syrup. When it’s baked with ground almonds it’s gluten-free too: hurrah!

I’ve been clearing out all the cupboards in the truck camper, getting it ready for winter adventures, and I stripped the food cupboard bare.

I found a tub of glacé cherries that were well past their best before date. The cherries looked and smelt ok so I tried to think up something to bake them into.

The decision was made when I came across some polenta. I’d cooked some polenta a while back and I’d made such a mess of it – lumpy doesn’t even begin to describe it – that I’d vowed never to use it again, and to stick with the ready-made stuff instead.

My tiny kitchen is no place for a polenta disaster!

So, the bag of sunshine yellow polenta has travelled around with us ever since. It needed using up, and polenta cake seemed like an absolutely better idea than attempting to cook it for a meal again!

The problem now is that I love this cake so much, I’m going to need to buy more polenta: I want to make it again!

Cherry Polenta CakeI didn’t have a recipe for polenta cake, I think I’d baked one years ago – probably a Nigella recipe. I did a quick Google and found a recipe on The Telegraph website, I tweaked it a little for my ingredients and baked it in my stove-top Omnia oven.

The tweaked recipe worked perfectly, and this is definitely a cake that I’m going to make over and over again. I’m already envisaging a blueberry version, baked in the Finnish (or Swedish) forest with freshly picked blueberries, oh my!

I’ve written the recipe out for both a regular oven and also for an Omnia oven. The ingredients and method are the same, it’s just the baking method that’s different.

Cherry Polenta Cake

Cherry Polenta Cake

I tweaked this recipe by Stevie Parle on The Telegraph website.

  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 125 g polenta
  • 1 tsp baking powder (use gluten-free BP if needed)
  • 225 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225 g golden caster sugar, plus 50 g for syrup
  • 3 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest
  • 75 g glacé cherries, chopped up
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds.

If baking in a conventional oven: preheat it to 160ºc / 325ºf and grease a 23cm cake tin – ideally a springform one.

If baking in an Omnia oven: grease the ring pan with a little oil or butter, or lightly grease the silicone liner if you are using it.

Combine all the dry ingredients – the ground almonds, polenta and baking powder. Mix well and set aside.

Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time with a spoonful of the dry mixture.

Once the eggs are beaten in, add the rest of the dry mixture and fold to a fairly stiff batter with a metal spoon.

Fold in the glacé cherries and the lemon zest.

Spoon into the prepared cake tin or Omnia pan, and gently level with the back of the spoon.

Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the batter.

Bake in a regular oven for around 50 minutes, until golden. A cake tester should come out fairly clean and the cake should be just firm.

If you are baking this cake in an Omnia oven:

Place the Omnia heating plate onto the hob over a high heat for 2 minutes.

Pop the lid on and place the oven onto the hot heating plate.

Leave on a high heat for one minute (to get the raising agents in the batter to activate) then turn the heat down to around a medium flame.

Bake for around 30 minutes or so until risen and fairly firm.

To finish the cake:

Place the lemon juice and the 50 g of caster sugar into a small pan and heat until the sugar dissolves to a sweet syrup.

When the cake comes out of the oven stab it with a skewer and pour the syrup over the cake, to soak into the holes. You make not need all the syrup.

Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan, then turn out – this is easy if you used a springform pan. This is tricky if you used an Omnia oven, because you want the flaked almonds to be on top of the cake.

If you used a silicon liner, I suggest lifting it out carefully then push/fold the inner cone down, out of the way, and the cake should slide out of the mould.

Serve; it’s delicious with a dollop of creme fraiche!

Cherry Polenta Cake

Cherry Polenta Cake
A lovely polenta cake studded with cherries. It's gluten-free and I've adapted the recipe to be baked in an Omnia oven as well as a regular oven.
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Ingredients
  1. 125 g ground almonds
  2. 125 g polenta
  3. 1 tsp baking powder (use gluten-free BP if needed)
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 225 g unsalted butter, softened
  6. 225 g golden caster sugar, plus 50 g for syrup
  7. 3 free-range eggs, beaten
  8. 2 lemons, juice and zest
  9. 75 g glacé cherries, chopped up
  10. 2 tbsp flaked almonds.
Instructions
  1. If baking in a conventional oven: preheat it to 160ºc / 325ºf and grease a 23cm cake tin – ideally a springform one.
  2. If baking in an Omnia oven: grease the ring pan with a little oil or butter, or lightly grease the silicone liner if you are using it.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients – the ground almonds, polenta, salt and baking powder. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon.
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time with a spoonful of the dry mixture.
  6. Once the eggs are beaten in, add the rest of the dry mixture and fold to a fairly stiff batter with a metal spoon.
  7. Fold in the glacé cherries and the lemon zest.
  8. Spoon into the prepared cake tin or Omnia pan, and gently level with the back of the spoon.
  9. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the batter.
  10. Bake in a regular oven for around 50 minutes, until golden. A cake tester should come out fairly clean and the cake should be just firm.
If you are baking this cake in an Omnia oven
  1. Place the Omnia heating plate onto the hob over a high heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Pop the lid on and place the oven onto the hot heating plate.
  3. Leave on a high heat for one minute (to get the raising agents in the batter to activate) then turn the heat down to around a medium flame.
  4. Bake for around 30 minutes or so until risen and fairly firm.
To finish the cake
  1. Place the lemon juice and the 50 g of caster sugar into a small pan and heat until the sugar dissolves to a sweet syrup.
  2. When the cake comes out of the oven stab it with a skewer and pour the syrup over the cake, to soak into the holes. You make not need all the syrup.
  3. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan, then turn out – this is easy if you used a springform pan.
Adapted from Stevie Parle for The Telegraph
Vagabond Baker http://vagabondbaker.com/
Cherry Polenta Cake

Pin it for later:Cherry Polenta Cake // lemony, almondy and gluten-free!
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By Rachel A Davis   Follow on Bloglovin

4 Responses

  1. Kearin says:

    Ha – I too have never mastered polenta and have bee slowly using it up in tart crusts and the like! I think I know the nigella cake you are talking about, keen to give yours a go – i’m having visions of topping it with rhubarb before baking and letting the juice soak in…
    Kearin recently posted…Mango + Passionfruit Frozen YoghurtMy Profile

  2. I’m not a fan of savoury polenta in general but I’ve tried a couple of delicious polenta and orange cakes in the past and I must say, this sounds delicious! What a treat it’ll be if you end up making it again in Finland or somewhere else but with freshly baked blueberries ☺
    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) recently posted…A Visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and MuseumMy Profile

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