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Rhubarb and Rose Polenta Cake – Random Recipes #30

Gluten Free, Large Cakes | 22nd July 2013 | By

The task this month from Belleau Kitchen was to select our 30th cookbook and then make the recipe from whatever was on page 30 – this is the 30th RR after all. I always approach Random Recipes with some trepidation as you just never know what you might get landed with, but off I went to Eat Your Books to find my 30th cookbook. In case you’ve missed it, I have a giveway running at the moment for a lifetime’s membership of Eat Your Books – I can’t recommend it highly enough. As it happened, I struck lucky and my 30th book was Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. For many years, this was the only book on my bookshelf dedicated to baking, so I know it well. Now that I have many others, I don’t use it as often; I was glad to be persuaded to renew my acquaintance. It also meant, that with any luck I might be able to enter this into Forever Nigella.

The next task was to go and find the book and turn to page 30 – Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake. Now this couldn’t have been more opportune. I made this cake once before, many years ago, so I already knew it was a good one. I was shortly to be baking for Liskeard’s first pop-up cafe and was wondering what gluten-free bake I could include. With a little tweaking, namely substituting the wheat flour for buckwheat, this would do very nicely, I thought. The addition of white chocolate could only improve things and would allow it to appear on Chocolate Log Blog. I’ve already established that rose and rhubarb make for a fine combination, so I wanted to include some rose syrup here for added interest.

So this is how I made:

Rhubarb and Rose Polenta Cake

  • Washed and trimmed the rhubarb, cutting it into ½ cm slices.
  • Placed in a bowl and covered with 100g of cardamom sugar (caster) to extract some of the juice. Added 4 tbsp rose syrup.
  • Melted 50g white chocolate (G&B) in a bowl over hot water.
  • Creamed 125g unsalted butter with 150g cardamom sugar (caster) until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the cooled chocolate.
  • Beat in 2 large duck eggs, one at a time.
  • Sifted in 150g buckwheat flour, 155g fine cornmeal, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, ¼ tsp salt and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
  • Stirred in 250g natural yogurt alternately with the flour until just combined.
  • Gently stirred in the rhubarb and juice.
  • Poured into a 23cm cake mould and baked at 180° C for about 50 minutes until the top was well risen and springy to the touch.
  • Covered with tin foil after the first 30 minutes to prevent the top burning.
  • Left to cool for 20 minutes, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Dusted with icing sugar and scattered with rose petals.

The bake came an honourable second behind the most popular one, the chocolate cake. Sadly, I didn’t get to try any, but I had very good feedback and all of it disappeared. The very first person to try anything was gluten intolerant, so she was delighted to have something tasty she could eat.

I am entering this into Random Recipes, an excellent if somewhat adrenalin-inducing monthly challenge run by Dashing Dom of Belleau Kitchen.
And I did indeed strike lucky with Forever Nigella, a monthly challenge from Sarah of Maison Cupcake. This month Victoria of A Kick at the Pantry Door is hosting and luckily for me, she has chosen Party Party. I think this is a fitting contribution to any celebration.

It’s been a while since I entered Made with Love Mondays, a weekly challenge from Javelin Warrior, whereby everything must be made from scratch.

As I used rose syrup in the cake, made with my own roses, I am entering this into Cooking with Herbs with Karen of Lavender and Lovage.


  1. manu

    22nd July 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Oh polenta cake sounds delicious!!
    I love using polenta flour for cakes

    • Choclette

      22nd July 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks Manu – I like it too, it gives an interesting texture, which makes for a nice change.

  2. belleau kitchen

    22nd July 2013 at 12:57 pm

    beautiful… I am obsessed with rose at the moment as it’s such a heady summery flavour… so glad I could be of service and reunite you with an old flame… glad it went so well and thanks for entering… now do you have some ice, this heat is exhausting and I need an ice bath!

    • Choclette

      22nd July 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks Dom – rose just goes so well with British summer fruits. I haven’t tried one yet which it didn’t enhance. As for the ice, I’m waiting for the ice-cream …….

  3. Johanna GGG

    22nd July 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I used to spend a lot more time with how to be a domestic goddess too when I had less baking books but strangely I don’t remember this one – will have to have a flick through it again and refresh myself – love the sound of your version – so glad it was well received

    • Choclette

      22nd July 2013 at 5:34 pm

      It’s well worth trying Johanna. It’s funny but before everyone got into this @work your way through a book@ malarkey, I started doing that from the beginning with Domestic Goddess when I first got it 12 years or so ago. I only ever managed the first 10 recipes, but even so, I claim that idea as my own 😉

  4. Javelin Warrior

    23rd July 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Love this cake, Choclette! Beautiful presentation and what a delicious use of rhubarb. I’d imagine it would keep the cake really moist, besides the tasty flavor…

    • Choclette

      23rd July 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks JW. It was a nice moist cake, it had lots of yogurt in too. I suspect it would have kept really well, if it hadn’t all disappeared on the night.

  5. Caroline Taylor

    23rd July 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Beautiful sounding cake, what a great one to have at random!

    • Choclette

      30th July 2013 at 6:44 pm

      I got really lucky with that one Caroline

  6. Gloria Baker

    24th July 2013 at 1:57 am

    This look really delicious!

  7. Cheryl Pasquier

    25th July 2013 at 4:40 am

    You’ve just reminded me that I bought a box of polenta to try in a cake recipe and have yet to use it !

  8. Jacqueline @Howtobeagourmand

    25th July 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I’d love to try some of that cake. Sounds amazing! No wonder there was nothing left! Well done in coming 2nd place!

  9. Magnolia Verandah

    31st July 2013 at 12:10 am

    Great cake and how clever of you to include all the ingredients to enter all those competitions.

  10. Victoria Lee

    31st July 2013 at 9:23 am

    What a beautiful cake Choclette, I’m not surprised at all that it went down so well at the pop-up cafe. I’ve never been all that adventurous with rhubarb, I love the idea of pairing it with rose though! Thanks for linking with Forever Nigella

  11. itsafinefinelife

    31st July 2013 at 11:34 am

    Wow, that looks gorgeous. Beautiful photo too.

  12. Ruth Ellis

    31st July 2013 at 5:46 pm

    That sounds absolutely amazing – rhubarb and rose is a gorgeous flavour combination. I might have to give it a go – I’ve got a freezer full of rhubarb!

  13. Karen S Booth

    31st July 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Magical ingredients and such a PETTY cake, what a lovely photo too! Karen

  14. Rachel A

    1st August 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Heavenly! I had a rose recipe too, it’s such an incredible ingredient and combined with the rhubarb must have been out of this world! Might have to give this a go for an afternoon tea party…will report back!

  15. Food Suppliers

    2nd August 2013 at 6:32 am

    Truly Delicious..thanks for the awesome recipe!

  16. Maya Russell

    16th November 2013 at 7:48 am

    I’m not keen on rose syrup. Recipe looks good though.


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