Sunday, 13 May 2012

WSC Chocolate polenta cake

 
When I told E I had baked a chocolate cake, he muttered "is there any other sort!" (and then mumbled something about wishing for a nice vanilla buttery sponge cake).  This cake in question was a chocolate polenta cake that I baked  for the third time.  The first time I found it too gritty.  The second time I forgetfully left it in the oven for hours and it was like a brick.  This time I used maize flour, which I assume is equivalent to fine polenta.  The cake was moist and fudgy, though still slightly grainy.

I made it for a Mothers Day lunch at my parents' house today.  I baked it first thing yesterday morning before we were out and about.  It has been a busy weekend with a visit to the Collingwood Children's Farm Farmer's Market, a trip to the cinema to see a rather silly movie called Dark Shadows, my niece's first communion mass, and today's family lunch.

If truth be told, my cake was overshadowed by my mother's splendid pavlova, which is much loved by many in the family.  I don't mind.  My mother takes great pride in her pavs but has been having some trouble lately.  So much so, that she actually made two pavs in two days to get it right.  However, the second pavlova was so good that it disappeared rather quickly and the dodgy first one (already well-nibbled by impatient children) was eaten up when seconds were requested.  Mum also made an amazing chocolate cheesecake. 

My chocolate polenta cake went down well too, especially with my niece Ella.  We all agreed it was rather rich.  Many preferred it with cream.  I think I got it right this time.  However, I still am not so keen on the texture.  The grainy texture reminds of what I don't like about lots of gluten free flours.  I'd much prefer to stick to flourless cakes with just ground almonds such as Jill Dupleix's recipe.  Now what do I do with the rest of the maize flour?

I am sending this to Laura of How to Cook Good Food who is hosting We Should Cocoa in May and has chosen almonds for the challenge.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: My ten rules for food blogging
Two years ago: Awards and a kreativ meme
Three years ago: Pumpkin and Goats Cheese Muffins
Four years ago: Mum’s Banana Cake
Five years ago: Cardamom and Chocolate Cake Comforts

Chocolate polenta cake
From Chocolate Log Blog

150g butter (I used margarine)
150g brown sugar
100g dark chocolate (mine was a Lindt strawberry version)
2 eggs, separated
1 tbsp brandy (I used lime juice)
75g ground almonds
75g fine polenta (I used maize flour)

Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.  Preheat oven to 180 C.  Put butter, sugar and chocolate in a medium-to-large bowl and melt together in the microwave (I think it took me about 1-2 minutes).  Stir in egg yolks and brandy, then ground almonds and polenta.  Beat egg whites to the stiff peak stage in a small bowl and fold into the chocolate mixture.  Pour into prepared tin and bake for about 30 minutes.  Cool in the tin.

On the Stereo:
Revisited and Remixed: Popul Vuh

24 comments:

  1. It does look deliciously fudgy and chocolate-y - I'm sort of glad to hear that it's still grainy because part of my brain wants to believe I can make a 'smooth' polenta cake, but actually I don't think it's possible.

    Happy Mother's Day too!

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    1. Thanks Caroline - I think I want my cake and eat it too with polenta but I think you are right that it must be grainy - yet I still have polenta cakes I want to try

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  2. I have been meaning to make a polenta cake for a while now - so I'm interested to hear about the textures issues.....

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    1. Thanks Lisa - would love to hear how you go if you do try a polenta cake

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  3. I am so soryy: I was the anonymus!

    MMM,..;what a stunning chocolate & polenta cake: it is appetizing looking, rich & ooh so chocolately too! :) What more does a girl want??? xxx

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    1. Thanks Sophie - I deleted your anon comment - thanks for coming back and adding your name so I knew it was you - it was very very rich so I was happy with it

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  4. Looks a gorgeous fudgey sort of cake. You could try using the leftover flour to make muffins, or as a binder in burgers or a crispy batter, or add it to some bread

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    1. Thanks Katie - great suggestions for the maize flour - makes me feel more hopeful I will use it up - I think it might work in savoury muffins (I love cornbread too)

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  5. This looks so fudgey - if I was to like chocolate cake, this would definitely be the type I'd like. The polenta component appeals to me too, so much so that I'm keen to now experiment with polenta (although it sounds like you weren't so keen on the resulting texture...). I wonder if different flavour combinations would offset the texture or if it is just a side effect of polenta baking?

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    1. Thanks Kari - I have remembered since writing this post that I quite like polenta in cornbread so I think I need to experiment more with it in sweet recipes

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  6. As much as I love cornbread, you know I'm with E on this one! Though it does look lovely. Maybe you could dust and fry tofu with the maize powder?

    Happy Mother's Day!

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    1. Thanks Hannah - you and E are welcome to the vanilla sponge cake - but I will need to share the cornbread with you! And using maize flour to coat tofu is a great idea - might try it on the tofu nuggets that Sylvia loves

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  7. I have to say first of all that I absolutely adore the texture of polenta cakes. It's the granular grainy bite that appeals to me. But, then again I adore savoury polenta dishes too. I agree that it takes some getting used to but I just love it for not being smooth!
    To me, your cake looks fabulous. I would choose it over the "Pav" any day!
    Thanks so much for entering it into We Should Cocoa this month,
    Laura@howtocookgoodfood
    xxx

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    1. Thanks Laura - I have found that the feedback in the comments is quite positive about polenta in cake - so maybe it is because it didn't quite work when I first made the recipe that I wasn't so keen on it - am determined to try it again - and definitely prefer polenta to egg whites :-)

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  8. I think your cake looks fab - hope you had a great Mothers Day!

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - it was a lovely day - will write a bit more about it later

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  9. I kind of love the gritty texture of polenta in baked goods...I feel like it adds some oomph! need to try this!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - who ever knew that gritty baked goods are so popular - I like the substance but am still not sure about gritty

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    2. If you leave polenta cakes to "mature" (if the will power is there!) - for a couple of days , the texture will be less gritty.

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  10. I'm another that likes the gritty-ness... I think thats why I like marzipan too, a weird texture thing.
    I'd love to try a piece of this as have been playing with chocolate cakes lately and none of them are quite there yet!

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    1. Thanks Brydie - I quite like the nutty grittiness but less so the polenta grittiness - good luck with your chocolate cake experiments - am sure you will find the sweet spot

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  11. Well it looks like a perfect slice to me. Well done for persisting, I'm impressed. In the end, I guess you either like the texture or you don't, but at least you now know for sure you don't like polenta in cakes! Thanks for entering it into WSC - I'd certainly be tucking in with gusto.

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    1. Thanks Choclette - I wouldn't go as far as to say I don't like polenta - I am still interested in experimenting with it in cakes (lots more recipes to try) - I think this is just too similar to a recipe I love and so it doesn't feel quite right to me. But it still is far better than a lot of other cakes I encounter

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  12. LOVE the sound of this cake, super plus point that it's gluten-free because I have gluten-intolerant friends. I've tried polenta in cakes and quite like the texture, I guess it's a matter of preference, because I like really moist cakes, I hate airy fluffy sponges. And hence why I felt compelled to come over and take a look (I saw this on the roundup on laura's blog), nice one! x

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