I’m going to put my hands up and say I’m no expert at gluten free baking. When it comes to throwing together an array of gluten free flours to make a beautifully light sponge, or a pastry that doesn’t fall apart and taste like cardboard, I’m utterly clueless. However, I do have a few failsafe gluten-free recipes I’ve picked up from cooking for gluten-free family and friends. Rather than make use of complex combinations of potato and rice flours, these recipes mostly remove flour from the equation entirely. The flour element of the recipe is replaced with ground hazelnuts, almonds or, in this case, polenta.
This recipe is based on one of my Mum’s favourite gluten free recipes. Its one she makes quite regularly, often replacing the dairy butter with soy or goat butter, making it dairy free too. It works well as an informal pudding at summer barbecues or garden teas, but its also nice enough to serve at a dinner party, finished off with a pour of cream.
Wouldn’t it be lovely packed into a picnic basket and enjoyed out in the park, or sat next to a lake too?
This is such an incredibly summery cake. Its full of freshness and zesty life from the lemons, and the raspberries bring a sweet juiciness.
The polenta gives a unique texture, slightly coarser than a regular sponge cake. If you haven’t tried baking with polenta yet, I’d really recommend giving it a try. It perfectly compliments the raspberries and lemon icing, absorbing all the sugar and juices to make it wonderfully sticky.
The original recipe comes from Phil Vickery’s book Seriously Good Gluten-Free Cooking. Its so simple and quick to throw together. Cream together butter and sugar, then mix in all the other ingredients.
I’ve reduced the quantity of the recipe, to suit my little oven and petite baking trays. You could refer to the original recipe if you want to feed a larger crowd.
I’ve also swapped out the original lime fondant topping, for a simple lemon icing. I love the sharp contrast of the white icing with the bright ruby raspberries.
Lemon and Raspberry Polenta Tray Bake
(adapted from Phil Vickery’s Seriously Good Gluten-Free Cooking)
(makes 12 squares)
for the cake
150g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
170g fine polenta
170g fresh raspberries
for the icing
150g icing sugar, sifted
juice of 1 lemon
100g raspberries, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Grease and line a 25X18cm rectangular, or a 20x20cm square baking tin.
Cream together the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs, baking powder, lemon zest, vanilla and polenta. Stir until well combined.
Carefully fold in the raspberries.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 20 minutes, or until well risen, golden brown and firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Once cool, sift the icing in a separate bowl. Add the juice of one lemon and mix until well combined. You should have a thick, spreadable icing. If your icing is too runny, add a little more icing sugar to thicken. If it’s too thick add a few drops of water at a time to thin it down. Spread across the top of the cake.
Decorate with fresh raspberries.