2 May 2013

Nigella Challenge: Rhubarb Polenta Cake

This is a cake everyone should have in their repertoire. Its incredibly versatile, as you can eat it at anytime - warm it makes a great dessert cake & cooled it suits an afternoon tea. Its also versatile as it is really a basic cake that you can play with. Put whatever fruit you happen to have in the fridge or pantry in it! I've been successful with apple and stewed peaches.

If you do use something already stewed, skip the first step in the recipe. It will be obvious why when you come to it.

Also, polenta is cornmeal. They are the same thing, but it is generally sold as polenta here and is readily available in supermarkets (try the health food shelves if its not in baking).
  • 500g rhubarb
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 155g fine polenta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 250g natural yoghurt
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin (preferably springform to make your life easier).

Cut the rhubarb into half-cm pieces. Place in a glass bowl and toss with 100g of the caster sugar. Set aside.

Combine flour, bicarb, cinnamon and polenta. In another bowl, whisk vanilla into the eggs. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and remaining sugar in a large bowl. Gradually add egg mixture  beating as you go. Add flour mixture alternatively with yoghurt until just combined. Be wary of over-mixing. 

Lastly, add the rhubarb and its juices. Pour into tin and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour until it springs back when lightly pressed in the centre. If it looks like its browning too quickly, cover with foil and continue cooking. Cool completely in the tin before serving.

If you're eating it warmed up, its delicious with custard. If eating it cold, I'd go with double or clotted cream.