Gluten Free Polenta and Honey Cake

I’m not gluten free by any stretch of the imagination – I will quite readily polish off cake after cake and eat anything that’s in front of me, especially from time to time when I have a proper pig out! However, during a normal day I have been trying to cut down on gluten a little bit.

I haven’t gone mad and don’t not eat things because they have gluten in them, but I tend to go with smaller portions of things such as muesli and granola and bulk it out instead with our home made yogurt, instead of bread I tend to go with rice cakes and I might choose some fruit or nuts instead of a biscuit snack.

Mind you, as anyone who reads this weblog will know, I do like to bake (and of course eat) cakes and scones and such like, all of which contain large amounts of gluten containing flour. So, last night I thought I’d try something a little different and bake a cake without any flour, using polenta and ground almonds instead. It didn’t quite go to plan as we didn’t have enough ground almonds so I ended up having to add some wholemeal flour anyway which kind of defeated the object, but the idea was there.

Polenta is just cornmeal and is actually quite tasty. We had it the other day cooked in boiling water and mixed with cheese then cooled,  sliced and fried as polenta fritters and they were surprisingly nice.

Last night Polenta and Honey Cake was even better and was easy to make too.

Honey and Polenta Cake

Honey and Polenta Cake

Ingredients

225g Butter
150g sugar
6 Tbsp Honey
200g polenta
225g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 sprig rosemary

Method

  1. Beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add half (3 Tbsp) of the honey and beat again.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients – polenta, ground almonds and baking powder.
  4. Beat the eggs
  5. Gradually add the eggs and dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture, adding a bit of each at a time and beat well until you have a thick mixture.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a large round, lined cake tin and smooth the top
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C then reduce the heat to 160°C and bake for a further 20 minutes. Cover with foil if it is getting too brown.
  8. Heat the rest of the honey in a saucepan with a sprig of rosemary.
  9. Make some holes in the top of the cake and pour the honey over it while the cake is still warm
  10. Leave to cool, serve with Creme Fraiche and enjoy!

As I said, we didn’t have quite enough ground almonds in the cupboard so I made up the weight with wholemeal flour instead but the result was still delicious if not gluten free.

The polenta adds a really nice texture to the cake and the honey soaks through to give it a delicious sweet sticky taste. It’s quite a dense, course, crumbly cake with a distinctive taste. I love it and will certainly be making it again… I’ve already stocked up on ground almonds so that next time it can be truly gluten free.

 

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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