Continuing on with my Italian themed desserts, when I’m not in the mood for the richness and indulgence of a tiramisu a great big slice of cake is my mid-morning treat. I love baking and lately I’ve been experimenting with different sponge style cakes which don’t require icing.
This is purely because the kids tend to only eat the bits of the cake with the icing on and I often find the remnants of a sponge cake discarded in the food recycling bin, if they haven’t managed to feed it to the dog. And as my parenting toolkit requires me to be one step ahead of them every time, I though a cake minus the icing should result in a slimmer dog and less food wastage.
Here’s my recipe for a tangy lemon polenta cake which I stumbled upon while looking for an alternative to a lemon drizzle cake and something with a little more bite than the fluffy sponges I was accustomed to. The grainy texture of this Italian inspired cake uses oil and natural yoghurt and with the tanginess of the lemon, makes it moist, light and incredibly moresih.
I serve it with an extra dollop of greek style natural yoghurt but it can be enjoyed on its own and is a great palate cleansing after dinner dessert or a refreshing afternoon treat.
50g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
5 heaped tbsp natural yoghurt
5 tbsp groundnut or olive oil (not extra virgin )
finely grated rind of 2 lemons
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs whites
200g caster sugar
200g caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180’c / fan 160’c / gas mark 4
Combine the flour, polenta and baking powder in a bowl
In a separate jug, mix the oil, yoghurt, lemon juice and rind and stir
Beat the eggs and egg whites until creamy in texture then add the oil/yoghurt/lemon mixture, beaating again until thoroughly combined
Fold in the dry ingredients
Pour into 2 pint oil and lined loaf tin
Bake for 40 minutes, or until a clean dry knife or skewer comes out clean.
Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before adding the syrup
Add the syrup ingredients to a pan and bring to a boil then simmer gently for 10 minutes, making sure it does start to caramelise.
Prick the top with a skewer and pour the syrup mixture
serve with an dollop of greek yoghurt