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Almond & Olive Oil Polenta Cake

Something for the weekend?

In the south of Spain there’s a huge tradition of baking with olive oil. Pastries, cakes, cookies and donuts are available everywhere and definitely one of the best things to eat in the region. If you’ve never used olive oil like this you’re in for a treat. Not only is it packed with healthy fats and antioxidants, I think it makes cakes that are especially lush.

This recipe is a great place to start. Polenta and ground almonds replace most of the flour so the sponge is moist and almost fudgy. Spike with raspberries and drizzle with a not too sweet lemon syrup. Yum. I vary the fruit with the seasons so if you’ve been picking blackberries or blueberries feel free to use them instead.

Almond & Olive Oil Polenta cake with Lemon and Raspberry.

250gr Polenta finely ground (If yours is sandy in texture just blitz it in a food processor until you have a finer texture)
100gr Flour
120gr Ground Almonds (or any ground nuts if almonds are not available)
1/4 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
300gr Light Brown Moscovado Sugar
4 Eggs
250ml Olive Oil – Trujal de la Loma works really well.
150gr raspberries (fresh or frozen) - or bake with frozen raspberries and serve with fresh
Lemon Syrup
4 lemons
100gr White Sugar

Heat your oven to 180 degrees (170 if it's a fan oven)

Combine all the dry ingredients for the cake along with the grated rind of the lemons in a bowl and mix well.
Turn on your mixer and add the eggs to the dry ingredients one at a time. Keep the mixer running and slowly pour in eat the olive oil and beat until all the ingredients are combined to form a thick batter. Put the mixture into a greased cake tin and top with the raspberries.

Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes checking after 35 minutes. If the top is golden, cover with some tinfoil for the rest of the baking. Continue checking every five minutes to ensure the cake doesn't overcook. The cake is done when a skewer comes out more or less clean. I say more or less because it's easy to overdo things so err on the under rather than the overdone side of things.

While the cake is baking prepare the lemon syrup by combining the juice of 4 lemons in a pan with the white sugar. Bring to the boil then simmer to a syrup with the consistency of single cream then set aside. When the cake comes out of the oven prick the top with a fork and while it's still in the tin drizzle the syrup over the top and set aside to cool.

This cake is best eaten at room temperature and will keep well for 3 or 4 days in a tin but believe me it won't last that long!

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