Whenever I see a recipe with an unusual twist to it, curiosity gets the better of me. I just have to try it out. This Polenta Cake recipe did not disappoint!
It is, without a doubt, the most unusual cake I have ever tasted. In fact, it seems wrong to call it a cake! It appears to have a rather savoury flavour at first, which is followed by a sudden burst of “sweet” when biting into the figs & raisins.
Before trying this recipe I would recommend making sure you have the large, 23 cm cake tin required – you will need it. A spring form tin is the best to use. This is not a small cake & would be an ideal choice for serving a large crowd of friends.
Next time I make the Polenta Cake, I will try adding perhaps just 2 tablespoons of the fennel seeds, as the aniseed flavour is quite overpowering in flavour, even for an aniseed lover like myself!
When eating leftovers, I would also recommend warming the cake slightly again, as the beautiful flavours are brought out by warmth in the cake.
Polenta Cake (With Pine Nuts, Raisins & Figs).
400 g polenta
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
100g pine nuts, toasted
150g figs, sliced
3 tablespoons fennel seeds
4 tablespoons raw sugar
250g plain flour
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C and grease & line a 23cm cake tin.
In a large saucepan, bring to the boil 850ml water & gradually pour in the polenta whilst stirring the water constantly. Lower the heat to simmer, add the olive oil & salt. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir the polenta regularly as it will become very thick. Remove the pan from the heat & stir in the butter.
Add beaten eggs & stir the mixture well. Add toasted pine nuts, raisins, figs, raw sugar & fennel seeds & mix thoroughly. Stir the flour into the mixture.
Spoon into the prepared tin & press in firmly. To smooth the top of the cake you may need to use your hands. Decorate the top of the cake with some extra toasted pine nuts, if desired.
Bake for 40 minutes, using a cake tester to make sure it is cooked through. Take out of the cake tin while still warm. Best served warm, when the flavours of the cake are most prominent.