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Chocolate And Cherry Polenta Cake

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50g / 2oz / ⅓ cup quick-cook polenta
200g/7oz plain chocolate, chopped into small pieces
5 eggs, separated
175g/6oz/ cup caster sugar
115g/4oz/1 cup ground almonds
75ml/5 tbsp plain four
finely grated rind of 1 orange
115g/4oz/1 cup glace cherries, halved icing sugar, for dusting


Serves: 8


1. Place the polenta in a heatproof bowl and pour over just enough boiling water to cover (about 120ml/4 fl oz/ ½ cup). Stir well, then cover the bowl and leave to stand for about 30 minutes, until the quick-cook polenta has absorbed all the excess moisture.

2. Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Grease a deep 22 cm/8 ½ in round cake tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper. Melt the chocolate.

3. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Beat in the chocolate, then fold in the polenta, ground almonds, flour and orange rind.

4. Whisk the egg whites in a grease-free bowl until stiff. Stir about 15ml/ 1 tbsp of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the rest. Finally, fold in the cherries. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45-55 minutes or until well risen and firm. Turn out and cool on a wire rack, then dust with icing sugar to serve.

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