Raspberry Chocolate Polenta Cake

Gluten Free | 12th April 2012 | By

Since I started my blog over three years ago, I have only made one of my three go to chocolate cake recipes from pre blog days. This is not one of them. Using polenta and ground almonds, it is completely gluten free, which makes it an ideal cake to make for mass gatherings. It is also rich and delicious – or so I remember it anyway. Sadly neglected, I’d been meaning to make a raspberry version ever since Divine sent me a bar of their 70% dark chocolate with raspberries.

However, I needed a gluten free cake for the Vital Spark book swap event, I helped out with last month, 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. Brilliant idea which reminded me of my very own chocolate version. And Fair Trade Fortnight had only just finished, so a particularly apt time to use the Divine bar. No more thinking required.

This is what I did:

  • Melted 150g unsalted butter in a large pan over a low heat.
  • Added 100g Divine’s 70% dark chocolate with raspberries.
  • Added 150g dark muscovado sugar.
  • Stirred until all melted and combined then left to cool a little.
  • Beat in 2 duck egg yolks and 1 tbsp redcurrant liqueur (rather than Marsala or brandy)
  • Sieved in 75g ground almonds, 75g fine polenta and 30g cocoa powder (G&B) and stirred into the chocolate mixture.
  • Whisked 2 duck egg whites until stiff, then folded into the batter.
  • Poured into a 21cm cake mould and baked at 180C for 30 minutes when the top was firm to the touch.

This is 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. It was as dark, rich and delicious as I remembered. The raspberry chocolate gave a subtle fruity note, but wasn’t as noticeable as I would have hoped. One person attending the event was indeed a celiac and she was so delighted there was something there that she could eat, it really made my day.

NB 13/4/12 I have been made aware that there is no guarantee that the chocolate and possibly other products used in the recipe are 100% gluten free. This is because Divine chocolate is produced in a factory where products containing gluten are made and this could be the case for other things too, such as the polenta. You can see their disclosure on their site.

Chocolate & Lime Cheesecake Surprise

Chocolate Surprise Cheesecake

Dessert, No Bake | 3rd March 2010 | By

Party going family members en route from Gloucestershire to Falmouth, thoughtfully stopped by for lunch at the weekend. Time to revive an old favourite which used to be appear at Christmas, but I hadn’t actually made for years.


Chilli, Chestnut & Chocolate Cake

A celebratory cake was needed for the 1st anniversary of CT’s blog Radix. So, it’s chocolate and chestnuts again! This time with the added bonus of chilli – our own dried and crushed “fatalli”, a particularly vicious yellow variety. I used the already tried and tested Nigella recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess. As I had half a tin of chestnut puree left over from the biscuits, I made only half the quantity, which made quite a nice sized cake for two.

Here’s what I did:
  • Melted 100g 85% dark chocolate and left to cool slightly.
  • Creamed 75g unsalted butter with 25g dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mixed in 200g (or thereabouts) of sweetened chestnut puree.
  • Added 3 egg yolks, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp brandy and the chocolate and stirred until combined.
  • Whisked 3 eggs whites until stiff, then added 25g caster sugar and whisked again.
  • Folded egg whites into the cake mix 1/3 at a time.
  • Poured into a 2lb silicone loaf thingy and baked at 180C for 30 mins.
  • Left to cool for 20 mins, then turned out and dusted with cocoa powder.

Usually I serve this warm as a dessert when we’ve got friends over, but I have to say it works pretty well as a cake too. It rose spectacularly, but like most soufflé type concoctions, it sank almost immediately I took it out of the oven – it still tasted delicious though. The texture is distinctly truffle like, rich and dense yet paradoxically light. The taste is more delicate than one would associate with chestnuts, but none the worse for that. As we only used a very small quantity of the fatalli, a pleasant glow resulted rather than the usual meltdown we normally experience when using this chilli.

Chocolate Spice Cake

Large Cakes | 29th May 2009 | By

When I first got into cake making in my teenage years, the one I made most often was this Chocolate Spice Cake.  I haven’t made it for years, but must have had a sudden yearning for my youth or something as I woke up this morning with the certain knowledge that I wanted to make this cake today.
This is what I did:
  • Melted 50g dark chocolate
  • Creamed 4oz butter and 7oz Rapadura (soft brown sugar).  Oh the joy, the day was warm, the butter softened almost immediately and it was finally not a chore!
  • Beat in 2 duck egg yolks.
  • Sieved in 3oz wholemeal spelt, 3oz quinoa flour (experimented with this instead of using plain old flour), 1 heaped tsp of baking powder, 1 heaped teaspoon of allspice and a pinch of salt.
  • Mixed this in alternately with 4fl oz milk
  • Mixed in 1 oz of crystallised papaya (meant to be mixed peel, but I didn’t have any of that)
  • Whisked 2 duck egg whites until stiff, then folded into the cake mixture.
  • Spooned into a 21cm round cake thingy and baked at 180°C (gas 4) for 30 mins.
  • Meanwhile, melted 50g dark chocolate and 2oz butter and left to cool for a bit.
  • Mixed in 4oz icing sugar.
  • Realised the icing was way too stiff, so hunted around for some sort of liquid.  Could have used water, but found some orange liqueur lurking at the back of a cupboard so added a sloosh of that.  This did the trick.
  • Spread on top of cake.
All the good work of making the cake as healthy as possible was blown, of course, in the icing – hey ho!  For some inexplicable reason, my super duper non-stick silicone cake thingy didn’t work, so I had to patch the cake up as best I could.  Not sure if I shall use quinoa again in cakes.  The cake turned out to be beautifully light and rose well, but the consistency was a little crumbly and the quinoa added a slightly bitter taste.  The orange liqueur icing I made, serendipitously, was fantastic and I shall for sure be making that again.  The cake didn’t taste quite as scrumptious as I remember, but was still pretty damn good and had the added bonus of flooding my memory with a long ago camping trip down at Sennen Cove.

Gina’s Fudge Brownies

When I want to make something that’s quick and chocolatey, I usually fall back on chocolate brownies. The best brownies I’ve ever had were made by an American friend. I’ve adapted the recipe she gave me slightly, but I have to say although mine are usually dense and delicious, they have never been quite as fudgy as Gina’s – I blame my oven!

This is what I do
  • Melt 2oz butter, 100g bar 85% chocolate and 6oz muscovado sugar in a large saucepan.
  • Take off the heat to cool slightly.
  • Beat in 2 duck eggs and ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Stir in 2½ oz wholemeal flour and ¼ tsp salt
  • Chop 2oz walnuts and add these to the mixture
  • Bake in a greased 8-inch square tin for about 20 mins at 175°C.
  • Cool then cut into 16 pieces
As a cinnamon fan, I often substitute 1 tsp ground cinnamon for the vanilla extract.

Molten Lava Puds

Pudding, Speedy | 19th March 2009 | By

A friend has asked me to put this recipe on the blog.  It came to me a couple of years or so ago via one of my aunts and is so brilliant that it has subsequently become one of my old faithfuls.  As well as being particularly moreish, it’s easy to make and great for dinner parties as most of the work can be done well in advance.  It’s rich and chocolaty on the outside and wonderfully chocolaty and molten in the middle.

Here’s how (sort of as I can’t quite remember the actual quantities I use so have resorted to taking them straight from the recipe as given):
  • Melt 170g good quality dark chocolate with 170g butter
  • Whisk together 3 eggs, 160g sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence and 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Add 40g sifted flour, stirring until mixed.
  • Stir in chocolate mixture again until thoroughly mixed.
  • Cover the batter and leave overnight in the fridge (or at least 2 hours)
  • Scoop mixture into 6 greased ramekins
  • Bake at 175°C (gas 4) for about 15 mins or until the puds have risen but still soft to the touch.
  • Extra yummy if served with raspberries and cream.

Chocolate Polenta Cake

Gluten Free, Large Cakes | 18th February 2009 | By

This is a fantastically rich cake that I have made many times before – it’s easy, tastes great and has never yet let me down.

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (gas 4)
  • Melt 100g dark chocolate (70% or even 85%) with 150g unsalted butter and 150g muscovado sugar in a pan on very low heat.
  • Sieve 30g cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add 75g fine polenta and 75g ground almonds.
  • Make a well in the centre and add melted chocolate mixture (this is generally how I do most of my cakes as I find creaming rock hard butter a real pain and baking is something I usually do quite spontaneously so am rarely organised enough to get it out of the fridge and into a warm place well in advance).
  • Mix in together with 2 eggs yolks and 1 tbsp Marsala (or brandy)
  • Whisk 2 egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture.
  • Bake in a 20cm prepared round cake tin for 30 mins or until firm to the touch.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Sprinkle with a little sieved icing sugar and serve with raspberries
Mmmm – delicious!