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Chocolate Polenta Cake – Rich Dark & Sophisticated

Chocolate Polenta Cake

Gluten Free, Large Cakes | 12th April 2012 | By

A simple yet sophisticated bake which works particularly well as an adult dessert. It’s very rich and not overly sweet and is delicious served with cream and raspberries. It’s a bit of a winner too because my chocolate polenta cake is naturally gluten-free.

Since I started my blog over three years ago, I have only made one of my three go to chocolate cake recipes from my pre-blog days. This is not one of them. It’s such a simple cake to make and it performs so well, I don’t quite understand why I haven’t made it for such a long time.

Vital Spark Cakes

As it turned out, I needed a gluten-free cake for the Vital Spark book swap event, I helped out with last month. I thought it better to be covered, just in case. When I was trying to decide what to make, Charlotte of Go Free Cakes suggested the Pink Whisk’s clementine polenta cake. It was a brilliant idea as it reminded me of my very own chocolate polenta cake. No more thinking required.

I’d been meaning to make a raspberry version ever since Divine sent me a bar of their 70% dark chocolate with raspberries. So for this event I went with a raspberry chocolate polenta cake.

Cakes for Vital Spark Book Swap.

One person attending the event was indeed a celiac. She was so delighted there was something there that she could eat, it really made my day.

Chocolate Polenta Cake

Apart from chocolate, the main ingredients are polenta and ground almonds. This makes it completely gluten free, so it’s a perfect cake to bake for mass gatherings.

It’s a fantastically rich cake that I have made many times before. It’s easy, tastes great and has never yet let me down. It’s quite a sophisticated cake and will appeal to many adults, but not so much the children. As it’s so rich, you only need a small piece, which also makes this cake ideal for entertaining.

The method is a simple melt in the pan process. No creaming of rock hard butter required. I don’t know about you, but I often bake quite spontaneously, so rarely manage to get the butter out of the fridge to warm up in time.

It’s not quite a one pan method, however. You need to whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl. There’s no raising agent in this chocolate polenta cake other than the eggs, so it’s important to get as much air in as possible. Just carefully fold in the whites once you’ve mixed the rest of the ingredients together.

Raspberry Chocolate Polenta Cake

My chocolate polenta cake is delicious served with raspberries. So, as stated above, I thought I’d make a raspberry version for the book swap event. I used a 100g bar of Divine’s 70% dark chocolate with raspberries to replace the normal dark chocolate. It’s a simple, but quite effective idea. I also swapped the Marsala for my own homemade redcurrant liqueur.

The raspberry chocolate gives a subtle fruity note which you might not detect unless you’re looking for it.

Gluten Free Warning

There is no guarantee that the chocolate and possibly other products used in this recipe are 100% gluten free. This is because companies such as Divine and Green & Black’s produce their chocolate in a factory where products containing gluten are made. So there could well be traces of gluten. This may not matter for many, but it could effect this suffering from coeliac disease. Likewise, this may be the case for other ingredients too, such as polenta.

Other Gluten-Free Bakes You Might Like

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Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this simple yet sophisticated chocolate polenta cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

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Chocolate Polenta Cake

Chocolate Polenta Cake
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Chocolate Polenta Cake

A simple yet rich and sophisticated cake which works particularly well as an adult dessert. It's delicious served with cream and raspberries. Naturally gluten-free.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cake, chocolate, marsala, polenta, raspberries
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 316kcal

Ingredients

  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g muscovado sugar
  • 100 g dark chocolate (70% or even 85%)
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 75 g fine polenta
  • 75 g ground almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp Marsala (or brandy)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4).
  • Place the butter, sugar and chocolate in a large pan over a very low heat and leave to melt. Stir until combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
  • Separate the eggs and beat in the yolks along with the marsala.
  • Sieve in the cocoa powder and stir. Then add the polenta and ground almonds and stir until just combined.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff. This is easiest done with electric beaters, but you can do it by hand if you're feeling strong. Fold carefully into the chocolate mixture.
  • Bake in a 20cm (8") prepared round cake tin for 30 mins or until firm to the touch.
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Sprinkle with a little sieved icing sugar and serve with raspberries.

Notes

Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.

Nutrition

Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 438IU | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg

43 Comments

  1. Fiona Maclean

    12th April 2012 at 9:14 am

    LOL can you STOP posting chocolate recipes! I think I might just try this one, I’m curious about how polenta works in baking;)

    Reply
    • Choclette

      22nd April 2012 at 7:45 pm

      Fiona if you haven’t yet tried this, do use fine polenta – medium or coarse makes it a bit to gritty. I may well stop posting chocolate recipes at some point, but I’m not quite ready to give up yet 😉

      Reply
  2. Jaime

    12th April 2012 at 9:27 am

    Oh wow, what an amazing recipe! I was just speaking to a friend about baking with duck eggs and this looks like a great cake to start with. Thanks for sharing – it looks divine!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 4:20 pm

      Thanks Jaime – I use duck eggs for baking whenever I can get them.

      Reply
  3. Janice

    12th April 2012 at 11:51 am

    Sounds great. I love what ground almonds does to a cake.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks Janice – quite interesting what polenta does to a cake too.

      Reply
  4. Hotly Spiced

    12th April 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Raspberries and chocolate go so very well together. That is a delicious tart that looks amazingly dark, moist and full of flavour xx

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you – raspberries and chocolate seem to be a well loved classic.

      Reply
  5. Katie

    12th April 2012 at 1:20 pm

    It looks lovely and I’m sure greatly appreciated by all. I’d love to see what some of your other ‘go to’ cakes are.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Ah thanks Katie – others may appear in due course 😉

      Reply
  6. Susie @ Fold in the Flour

    12th April 2012 at 2:18 pm

    This sounds lovely. I wonder, could you add some fresh raspberries in to it to up the raspberry flavour? Anyway, sounds so delish I will definitely give it a go. 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Yes, I have been thinking I might try it with fresh raspberries. It’s certainly very good served with raspberries. If you do make it, do let me know what you think.

      Reply
  7. Clare

    12th April 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Raspberry chocolate sounds wonderful! And I like that it’s gluten free. Looks yum!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:01 pm

      It’s good to have a few good gluten free recipes that stand on their own.

      Reply
  8. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    12th April 2012 at 3:00 pm

    beautiful and perfect for passover with its un-leavened nature and lack of flour!.. the combo of raspberries and chocolate is rather sensuous too!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Ah Dom, it must be my Jewish roots that somehow got me posting this for Passover!

      Reply
  9. Karen S Booth

    12th April 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I am a BIG lover of polenta in baking and this cake looks wonderful. I have a lavender and polenta cake recipe that I serve with raspberries, and it is always a hit…..but, I bet that chocolate and polenta is a great combination.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Karen so glad you like polenta – there do seem to be a few doubters. Love the thought of your lavender version – when are you posting it?

      Reply
  10. A Trifle Rushed

    12th April 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Fantastic, I need a few gluten free recipes for the summer as we may have a guest who is gluten intolerant! I will be contacting Charlotte for some ideas in a few weeks, but will try this lovely recipe next week, Thanks. Jude x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:07 pm

      It is a good one Jude. Did you get to make it in the end?

      Reply
  11. Javelin Warrior

    12th April 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Chocolate polenta cake – that’s creative and I’ve never heard of using polenta to make a cake (even a gluten-free variety). It looks delicious and although I’ve never baked with chocolate that already included raspberries, I love to serve warm raspberries over chocolate cake (especially if I have a little vanilla ice cream to go with it)…

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:09 pm

      JW – polenta cakes are quite different, but very good. Nigella does a nice rhubarb and polenta cake which I’ve made a few times. Fresh raspberries go really well with this cake too, but as you say chocolate and raspberries – mmmmm!

      Reply
  12. cakeboule

    12th April 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Yeh I wanted this recipe! I wish I had seen it earlier as I just made a whole load of gluten free bakes – I ended up making a lemon and berry polenta cake instead as I was not sure of the ratios. I am doing a post on gluten free bakes as I often get asked to make some. I bookmarked the chocolate one so is on my to do list. Do you think white choclate would also work?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Cakeboule, lemon & berry polenta cake sounds delicious. I’ve made Nigella’s rhubarb and polenta cake a few times and that’s really good too. White chocolate would make quite a different cake, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

      Reply
  13. Rosanna

    13th April 2012 at 12:00 pm

    This is one I have to make!!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Hope you like it Rosanna – I was quite excited about using the Divine raspberry chocolate in it.

      Reply
  14. thelittleloaf

    13th April 2012 at 12:26 pm

    This cake sounds delicious. I’ve never baked anything sweet with polenta – does it add a slightly grainy texture to the cake or is it nice and smooth?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 4:15 pm

      It certainly gives a slightly crunchy texture, which most seem to like. I use fine polenta now. I’ve made it with coarse and that really is just too crunchy.

      Reply
  15. Green Dragonette

    13th April 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Lovely! How about substituting some of the ground almonds for dried raspberries to give a more raspberry hit but without making the mixture too wet if you added fresh??

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 4:12 pm

      That’s a good idea, but I think I’d just add them rather than substituting. Or better still, just eat it with fresh raspberries – I’ve done that on a few occasions, oh, err, and did I mention the cream!

      Reply
  16. laura@howtocookgoodfood

    13th April 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I do love a polenta cake. Such a good texture that works so well in both sweet & savoury dishes. A brilliant idea!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Oh good Laura, glad to find another polenta lover – there seem to be a few who are not quite so keen.

      Reply
  17. Baking Addict

    13th April 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I havent baked a polenta cake in ages. I’ve only ever tried it with lemon so would love to try a chocolate polenta cake.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Lemon sounds good Roz, what did you think?

      Reply
  18. Caroline

    14th April 2012 at 4:09 pm

    I must try polenta cakes – the only one I ever made was pronounced ‘a bit crunchy’ and not well received, so I must try again. This looks like a lovely recipe, and so pleasing that you had a visitor who benefitted from it too!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:30 pm

      C, thank you. I think some folk don’t like the texture, but if you use fine ground polenta, the crunch isn’t as noticeable.

      Reply
  19. Corina

    15th April 2012 at 6:53 am

    This looks good. I love the combniation of chocolate and raspberry. I’ll have to try a polenta cake too as so far I’ve only ever had polenta in savoury dishes.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Polenta is very different to flour, but it makes for a really interesting cake.

      Reply
  20. Johanna GGG

    15th April 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I have tried this but the polenta was quite crunchy – so maybe I need to see out fine ground polenta and see if that makes a difference because other than that the cake seems lovely – though I tried this last night and managed to make a mess of it but through no fault of the recipe – just too distracted to watch the oven timer!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 4:18 pm

      Johanna, sorry you didn’t get to taste it at it’s best. I use fine polenta (have amended recipe now) which gives a little bit of texture, but hopefully in a nice way. I’ve tried it with coarser polenta in the past and it’s not as good IMHO.

      Reply
  21. anyoneforseconds

    24th April 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I have just printed this off on the colour printer at work (saves my ink lol) to send home to try. Looks great!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Hope you enjoy it Giles, if you like it, you can play around with the flavours for future bakes.

      Reply
  22. Maya Russell

    6th December 2013 at 10:03 am

    I have never made a polenta cake. One to try – thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

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