If you are reading this, it is because I am currently in the process of/recovering from pushing a human male baby out of my lady bits! (TMI?) Sarah from The Sugar Hit is hilarious and makes some of the most ridiculously creative and delicious foods in my RSS feed. Plus, she’s Australian so I secretly read every one of her posts in Rebel Wilson’s voice. I’ve been stalking her for at least a year now, and I am fairly certain that she and I are soulmates. She was kind enough to prepare this recipe for you guys while I’m on maternity leave, so please go check out her blog and prepare to be amazed by her wit and talent!
Hiya! My name is Sarah from The Sugar Hit, and I’m super psyched to be here babysitting Maria’s lovely blog while she is away MAKING AN ACTUAL BABY, which is pretty incredible. I live in Brisbane, Australia, and have been blogging for a few years. I like to write about delicious things, mainly of the dessert persuasion. I’m obsessed with sweet and salty things. I have to make sure I never have pretzels and salted caramel in the house at the same time – it’s far too dangerous. It’s not all sweet things over at TSH, though! Sometimes there’s bacon!
This recipe is one that I absolutely love, and I turn to it a lot. For one thing, it’s gluten free. For another thing, it’s delicious. And for a third thing, it’s ridiculously, insanely adaptable. There is nothing you cannot do with this cake!
Since it’s constructed from a base of butter, almond meal and polenta, it stays incredibly moist when it’s cooked. Maybe my favourite way to eat it is like this, with gently cooked rhubarb baked into it, and then served with a splodge of yoghurt and a drizzle of the rhubarb’s cooking juices.
But if you can’t get rhubarb, don’t sweat it! Press a punnet of raspberries into the top of this, and prepare for the deliciousness. Slice up some strawberries, and make someone’s day. Sautee a bunch of apples in butter and sugar, lay them in the bottom of the pan, and pour the batter on top and serve it warm with custard, if you like.
Simplest of all, you could just add some orange or lemon zest to the batter, then stir together a little citrus juice and icing sugar and pour it over the still-warm cake. BAM! You’ve got a gluten-free cheat’s lemon drizzle!
Whatever floats your boat, muchachos, know that this cake is your friend. It wants to help you and it wants to be delicious. Here’s the recipe!
- 300 grams (about three good stalks) rhubarb
- 50 grams (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 80 mL (⅓ cup) water or the juice of one orange
- 200 grams (14 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
- 200 grams (1 cup) caster sugar
- 150 grams (1¼ cups) almond meal
- 150 grams (1 cup) fine polenta (getting fine grains is important)
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- First, prepare the rhubarb. Slice the rhubarb into 3-4cm chunks, and place into a small frying pan, with the sugar and liquid of your choice. Bring to a simmer, and cook over a very low heat, until the rhubarb is just tender, but still very much holding its shape. Remove the rhubarb from the liquid, and set both aside.
- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180C and line a 25cm by 15 cm baking dish with greaseproof paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until very pale and fluffy. Mix together the almond meal, polenta, and baking powder, and add it a third at a time, alternating with the eggs. So, mixing on a low speed, add some dry ingredients, then an egg, then dry, then an egg, until it’s all used up. Mix in the vanilla.
- Scrape the batter into your lined tin and spread it out – it will be fairly thick. Arrange the rhubarb pieces on top of the batter, and press them in slightly. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. It will be ready when a skewer inserted comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it. While the cake is baking, taste your rhubarb syrup, and either boil it down to thicken it, or add more sugar or liquid depending on your tastes.
- When the cake comes out of the oven, leave it to cool for at least 10 minutes, before slicing it straight from the pan and serving it (it’s delicious warm) with a dollop of cream or yoghurt and a drizzle of syrup.