Monday, June 08, 2009

Raspberry Lime Drizzle Polenta Cake

I made this cake for a picnic at the beautiful Dyrham Park last week and it went down a real treat. I think it embodies the glorious, heavenly summer we are (were!) having at the moment in the UK, as much as I feel orange and cranberry muffins embody winter. Actually the two are really quite similar in theme and flavour yet are seasons apart.

The first time I tried polenta cake was when an Italian friend introduced me to a lemon one and since then I've been hooked. Given a choice of a rich, moist chocolate cake or a citrus polenta cake to go with a cuppa, even an indecisive cake-lover like me will not hesitate to opt for the polenta. There's something exquisite and refined, and almost healthy, about polenta cake. I can't help but feel quite lady-like whilst eating it!

My recipe is adapted from this one and I am chuffed to bits with how it turned out. The polenta gives the edges a bit of a crunch and the inside is lovely and moist. I was worried the cake would be either too sweet or too sour but neither were the case at all. It was such a success I've already made it again since!

Dyrham Park

Raspberry Lime Drizzle Polenta Cake
Makes one 8 inch square cake
For the cake:
  • 200g softened butter
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • zest of 2 limes
  • juice of 1 and a half limes
  • 150g polenta
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 and a half teaspoon baking powder
  • 225g raspberries
For the syrup:
  • juice of 3 and a half limes
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 120g golden caster sugar
Line 8 inch square tin (not loose-based) with buttered greaseproof paper and preheat oven to 160C. Cream butter and sugar together until light. Gradually beat in eggs then the lime zest. Fold in polenta, plain flour and baking powder followed by the lime juice. Fold in half of the raspberries and turn the mixture into baking tin. Scatter the remaining raspberries on top which will sink as the cake rises. Bake for 1 hour (cover cake with foil if it starts to brown too much) or until a skewer pushed into centre is clean when removed.

Meanwhile make the syrup: put the lime juice, zest and sugar into a saucepan. Put over a low heat and stir, allowing sugar to dissolve. Do not allow to bubble. As soon as cake comes out of oven, prick all over with skewer and spoon syrup over it. Allow to cool and cut into 12 pieces to serve. To store, wrap in paper and/or foil.