This polenta cake fits all the demands of our extended family and friends: it’s healthy, interesting, and not too sweet. Wherever I take it, people love the unusual, savoury crunch of the polenta and rosemary coating the outside.
It’s a slightly crumbly cake. It could be because I traded down the original 5 eggs plus two egg yolks for 3 eggs and half a cup of milk. I’ve also halved the amount of sugar. No one noticed. Ultimately, I would like to find a way to take egg out altogether and end up with something vegan, but we’re not there yet.
The rosemary is our prostrate rosemary from our garden. It’s much softer and more suited to baking than the regular upright rosemary. The latter is great for dishes like lamb roasts and casseroles.
Polenta and rosemary olive oil cake
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 5 or 6 rounded tablespoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary (3 for the cake batter, and the rest to line the tin and for the topping).
- extra polenta to coat the inside of the cake tin, and more rosemary to ‘ice’ the top.
- ¾ cup of polenta (plus 2 tablespoons to coat the inside of the tin)
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- ½ cup of fruity olive oil
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup of milk (any sort: dairy, non-dairy)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- ¾ cup of sugar
- Before you start: turn the oven to 180ºdegrees Celsius (350F). Chop the rosemary by hand as finely as you can.
- Measure out ¾ of a cup of the polenta and mix it in a bowl with the olive oil and milk in a decent-sized bowl. Let it sit for a couple of minutes while you do the next step. It gives the polenta a couple of minutes to soak and soften perfectly, but without losing that yummy, distinctive slight crunch in the finished cake.
- Oil a 15 to 20-centimetre round cake. Coat the inside with some finely chopped rosemary and then some polenta. Depending on the size of the tin, you’ll need about 1 tablespoon of rosemary and 2 tablespoons of polenta.
- Add the flour, baking powder, vanilla and the egg to the polenta mix. Beat well until it’s as light and fluffy as you can get it.
- Stir in the chopped rosemary.
- Pour it into the prepared cake tin.
- Sprinkle as much of the rest of the rosemary as you can across the top of the cake.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the cake is a nice golden colour and a skewer comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for about half an hour in the tin before turning it onto a plate to serve.
The original had 5 eggs plus two egg yolks (instead of the 3 eggs and half a cup of milk here). It also had double the amount of sugar and half a cup each of olive oil and butter.
Source: Adapted from Turntable Kitchen: Polenta, olive oil, rosemary cake after a long search for a good polenta cake. This one fitted the bill perfectly.