Tag Archives: polenta cake

Carrot and cardamon cake (gf) and a barking competition

I was woken this morning to the sound of the dogs barking inside the house and Luc barking outside. Our land is a favourite haunt for hunters because apparently it’s ‘scenic’ and where the best game is to be found. Because of course game, when they’re looking for a place to hang out, always put beautiful surroundings above anything else… For some reason hunting involves, not only pretty scenery, but also lots of shouting. So there was Luc at the crack of dawn, wearing not very much and ranting about how we have to get up early every day of the week and the weekend is the only day we can lie in and why can’t they go and shout and be generally annoying elsewhere because it makes the dogs bark and wakes us up and then he has to come outside and shout at them when he could still be in bed. To be honest, falling leaves are enough to make our dogs bark, and the person making by far the most noise and waking everyone up was Luc. But whatever –  he seemed determined to shout himself hoarse.

I got up and made a piece of toast. We have a very small but fierce toaster with a powerful but woefully imprecise firing range and my toast was catapulted behind the fridge. Retrieving it involved rummaging through piles of crumbs, dust and a dead, flattened mouse. So far the morning was proving to be a real delight, further enhanced by the dogs who decided to embark on an energetic game of  ‘doors’. The principle of ‘doors’ is to ask to be let out by one door and then rush to a door on the opposite side of the house and scratch until your owners’ nerves are ripped to shreds. And repeat ad nauseum.

Christmas plans are off to a shaky start too: organised I am not. Due to a flu epidemic, we are not where we had planned to be, and there’s an ongoing controversy about whether maritime pines make for proper Christmas trees. Something to do with their needles being too long, amongst other sins according to Léo. Anyway, as it’s now 24th December and there are no trees with appropriate length needles left, we had to go and lop the top off a pine tree. Once the contentious ‘tree’ was in place, Léo’s arguments gained momentum, Hugo cocked his leg at it and Java took a flying leap and furiously attacked it with her little teeth. Also, most of the gifts I had bought to put under it are 1000kms away.  And to add insult to injury, Luc and I decided to go shopping together (something we very rarely do) and he forgot and left without me.

I had imagined a lovely photo of the dogs in front of the tree, gazing adoringly at each other. Ha! This is a Photoshop montage (thank you Léo), because they refused to be captured together in front of the non-regulation tree. Unfortunately, neither Photoshop nor camembert were able to make Hugo look at the camera. Happy Christmas everyone!

This cake contains copious amounts of cardamon, a spice that never fails to make everything alright. I’m currently mainlining it. It’s very fragrant and has a lovely, slightly crunchy texture. Delicious warm or cold, alone or accompanied by Greek yoghurt or ice-cream.

Ingredients (serves 12)

350g carrots, grated

50g raisins (pre-soaked in rum)

50g almonds, flaked

50g walnuts, chopped

5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

80g cane sugar

3 eggs, whisked

100g almond flour

100g polenta

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cardamon powder

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the carrots, raisins, almonds, walnuts, melted coconut oil and sugar in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the almond flour and polenta, bicarbonate of soda and cardamom to the whisked eggs and blend until homogenous. Add the flour/egg mixture to the carrot/nut mixture and combine well. Transfer to a greased medium-sized baking tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

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Plum and polenta cake and hawk-eyed osteopathic surgeons

plumpolentacake

We went to hospital at the end of last week for a follow-up on Léo’s broken wrists. After the usual palaver of negotiating the maze-like corridors, locating the original x-rays (I now refuse to take responsibilty for images, having once turned up for a follow-up visit of my own armed with x-rays of my dog’s hip) and being on the receiving end of a particularly vicious swing door, we finally saw the surgeon who cheerfully proclaimed Léo’s right wrist to be healing beautifully. I assumed this meant that the left one wasn’t and anxiously enquired ‘and the left one?’ The doctor gave a classic double take and burst into peals of laughter saying ‘oh mon dieu! He broke BOTH wrists? How did he manage to do that? Who actually breaks both wrists at the same time?’ I had naively imagined that the fact that both wrists bore hefty casts might have been a clue as to the extent of his injuries, but apparently not. Tempted as I was to find out just how hilarious he would find a broken jaw, I resisted and, once again, poor Léo had to recount the story of the day he thought he could fly…

Ingredients

20g agave syrup

400g plums, pitted

130g ground almonds

150g spelt flour

150g polenta

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

150ml honey

180g natural Greek yoghurt

4 large free-range eggs, beaten

180ml olive oil

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Put the plums and agave syrup into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, before lowering the heat and leaving to caramelise for a few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Blend the almonds, spelt flour, polenta, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, honey, yoghurt and olive oil together well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, folding thoroughly. Stir in the plums, transfer the mixture to a loose-bottomed cake tin and bake for 40 minutes. Leave to cool and serve.