Polenta, fig and walnut cake

Polenta, fig and walnut cake

By
From
Slow
Serves
8-10
Photographer
Tara Fisher

Polenta is made from ground yellow or white cornmeal, and can come in different grades. The fine-milled grades are used for cakes and the coarser grades are used to make savoury, wet-style polenta dishes. The cake will be heavier and drier if you use the coarser polenta.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
450g soft butter, plus extra for greasing
plain flour, for dusting
75g dried figs
2 tablespoons brandy
1 lemon, grated zest and juiced
150g chopped walnuts
450g caster sugar
6 eggs
500g quick-cook polenta
2 tablespoons demerara sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and lightly grease a 23cm diameter, 6cm deep cake tin, dust it with a little flour, then line the base with baking parchment. Finely chop the dried figs. Put the figs in a bowl and pour the brandy over the top, then leave to soak for 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice.
  2. Put the walnuts in a food processor and process to a fine powder. Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Fold in the ground walnuts, polenta and fig mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour 25 minutes. Check if the cake is cooked by inserting a clean skewer or knife into the centre – if it comes out clean, the cake is ready. If not, bake for a further 10 minutes and check once more. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the demerara sugar and allow to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before serving. The cake can be stored in an airtight container for 3–5 days.
Tags:
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
slow cooking
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