This is a delicious recipe that can be made using duck eggs. Polenta is gluten free so this is a useful cake to whip up for the GF tea table.
- 110g butter
- 225 g caster sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 110g ground almonds
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 225g fine polenta
- 3 tbsp runny honey
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until soft and creamy
- Beat the eggs into the mixture with the ground almonds, then add almond extract and polenta
- Line an 18 x 28 cm swill roll tin with greaseproof paper, allowing the paper to stand about 2cm higher than the tin. Spread the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Warm the honey in a pan and add the lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Simmer for five minutes until the syrup has reduced a little. Set aside to cool.
- When the cake comes out of the oven, cut into squares and pour over the syrup.
You could garnish these with slivered almonds while still hot and sticky, the syrup should hold the slivers in place. Serve when cooled. These are good at the end of a meal, with a cup of coffee.
I think I have persuaded Malcolm that polenta is delicious. This is a dish from Elizabeth David’s book, Italian Food. I’ve recorded what I did, rather than what is in the book.
- 250g polenta
- 1 litre of water
- salt and pepper
- Optional 200g fontina or talegio cheese
- 50g butter
- 2 tbsps flour
- 600 ml milk
- 1 bayleaf
- a grate or two of nutmeg
- 40g grated cheese
- 500g mushrooms
- another 25g butter
- 25g grated parmesan
- Start by cooking the polenta. Set the water to boil, and when it starts to bubble, swirl it and pour in the polenta flour in a thin stream, stirring the mixture as you pour to mix it well with the water. As it becomes like the caldera in a volcano, season with salt and pepper, and cook for around 8 minutes.
- Pour the polenta into a large dish and let it cool. If you are adding Talegio or Fontina cheese, melt this into the polenta before pouring it out.
- Make a white cheese sauce. Melt 50g butter in a pan, and then add the flour.
- When the flour is beginning to brown, and the butter is foaming, add the milk, pouring in steadily and mixing to make a smooth white sauce. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and add the bayleaf, and simmer for 15 minutes, before adding the grated cheese.
- Next, slice the mushrooms and fry in butter for 5 minutes. Elizabeth David suggests using white truffles, which are in short supply in South Uist.
- Slice the polenta. In the bottom of a buttered lasagne dish or similar, layer 1/3 of the polenta, then 1/3 of the bechamel and 1/2 of the mushrooms. Then 1/3 polenta, 1/3 sauce, 1/2 mushrooms, then 1/3 polenta, 1/3 bechamel, topped with parmesan.
- Bake in a hot oven, 180C, for 30 minutes.
This is delicious, and very filling. We had 2 servings each and there is loads left. We had a side dish of steamed kale with pepper.
This is a fantastic quick recipe, and I just made the best yet. I got the recipe called ‘The Quick After-Work Vegetarian Cookbook’ – last recipe in the book. I have adapted it to make it easier.
- 225g polenta (fine, quick-cook)
- 1.2 L water
- 150g soft blue cheese (the original recipe says 50g Gorgonzola and 75g Taleggio, or Fontina, or brie)
- 50g butter
- Salt and pepper
- Bring the water to a boil, and then pour in the polenta in a thin stream, to avoid it clumping when it hits the water. Keep stirring the water around so the polenta mixes in with the water evenly. Keep stirring and cooking, and in a few minutes the mixture turns into a thick porridge.
- Add the diced cheese, and as soon as it has melted, add the butter, salt and pepper. Stir it all together.
This is good with a savoury lentil stew, or with a fennel salad. If you let it get cold, it can be sliced, and then grilled the next day.