Polenta Cake

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Just because this cake never comes cleanly out of the bundt pan, does not mean I don’t make it. In fact, until last night I suspected that the cakes refusal to come out of the bundt pan was more due to operator error than anything else. You see, my toddler always seems to need me just when the cake is ready, so it always falls to my husband to de-pan the cake and, being British, he has little experience with bundt pans. So secretly I thought it was the technique. But last night I was the de-panner and the results were the same, well much worse actually. (Perhaps he has learned a thing or two about bundt pans after all!) This cake is too crumbly for the flop out of the pan onto the rack. It breaks and crumbs go everywhere.

The crumbs are in the freezer waiting to be turned into bread pudding one night: a treat for my husband and toddler (I haven’t even considered trying to make bread pudding dairy free). But the rest of the chunks of cake are happily in the cake tin. A cake this moist and tasty won’t go to waste. No matter what it looks like.

What I love about this cake is that it does not rely on fruit or grated vegetables to make it taste good. It uses almonds, polenta, oil and honey and that is all that is required for a moist, lightly sweet, crumbly, satisfying cake.

Update: Since writing this post I have perfected this cake. The secret is mini loaf tins, baked until very browned. The cake comes out perfect every time. I’ve changed the directions below to reflect this.

Polenta Cake
adapted from Breakfast, Lunch, and Tea: the many little meals of the Rose Bakery

225g ground almonds
110g polenta
50g corn flour (not starch, also called maize flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 scant C light olive oil
1/2 C honey
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

Rule
Preheat the oven to 175C.
In a large bowl whisk together the almonds, corn flour, and polenta. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, honey, oil, and vanilla. Add the wet to the dry and stir until well combined. The batter will be very thick. Divide evenly into 3 well greased mini-loaf pans – they will be about half full each. Turn the oven down to 170C and bake for 13 minutes. Then rotate the pans and bake for 13-15 minutes until they are very browned and spring back to the touch with no soggy, swishy sound. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes then remove and cool on a rack.

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