We have this little tradition in my family of ‘cocktail hour.’ It’s not your traditional round of martinis but every night at around 6pm we have a drink and a few chips. My most favourite combination is tasty cheese CCs and a diet coke or as I like to call it CCs and DC. I find it rather entertaining that in one month’s time I’m going to be CC!
My sister messaged me this morning to say that in one month she’ll be the only Kelly girl in the family. In exactly one month, I’ll be waking up with not only the new title of wife but a brand new name – Claire Cameron. Don’t worry, Claire K Creations won’t be changing except that it will be written by a married woman.
Another tradition we have always had in my family was Birthday cakes. When we were little we were allowed to choose our cake from the Women’s Weekly book and mum would expertly create a replica. She was fantastic at it (one day I’ll have to dig up some photos to share). Now that I’m a bit more proficient in the kitchen, I love making mum a Birthday cake every year.
This year’s cake was a citrussy polenta cake with a raspberry swirl. The polenta adds a grainy texture to the finished cake, quite different to the usual cake texture but different in a good way. Making the cake is really easy and it bakes in 25 minutes so you could whip it up as an emergency dessert in no time. It’s best served with some yoghurt or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
I got a little bit excited making this cake and nearly forgot to take photos! You start by beating the spread and the sugar together until it’s nice and creamy then beat in the eggs. I wasn’t really sure how much to beat them so guesstimated and stopped once they started to froth a bit. The recipe doesn’t really have any raising agents in it so the eggs do need to get a bit frothy.
Once that’s done, take the bowl off the stand and add the rest of the ingredients except the raspberries. Gently fold it all together until it’s nice and smooth. It’s quite a thick batter so don’t be concerned if it seems too dry.
Spread the batter into the prepared tin. I do mean spread, as I said, it’s rather thick.
Heat the raspberries a bit in the microwave and then mash them up until there are no big chunks. Pour them into a zip lock bag and snip off a corner.
This was meant to be a really nice pretty swirl. In reality the raspberries came out in bursts and I got big squirts and little drizzles. It actually didn’t look to bad in the end but it sure wasn’t pretty before it was baked. I used the tip of a knife to swirl it around a little bit.
Then it’s into the oven for 25 minutes at 180C. Pretty quick isn’t it? As usual, it’s cooked when a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Leave the cake to rest in the tin for 5 – 10 minutes.
Then transfer it to a wire rack. Using a fork or a skewer, make lots of little pricks all over the surface of the cake. Try not to poke all the way through like I did (oops).
While the cake is still warm, pour over the rest of the lemon juice.
You can serve it straight away nice and warm with a scoop of yoghurt or my personal preference, vanilla ice-cream and dust it with a sprinkle of icing sugar. We had it at room temperature because I took it to the restaurant for mum’s Birthday. Unfortunately most of my pretty icing sugar Happy Birthday message had dissolved into the cake by the time they brought it to the table. Never mind, at least I had photographic evidence that it looked pretty at one stage. Enjoy!
What about you? Were you or are you a Women’s Weekly Birthday cake house?
Citrussy polenta cake with raspberry swirl recipe slightly adapted from Healthy Food Guide March 2012
- cooking oil spray
- 150g low-fat spread
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup polenta
- 3/4 cup self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp almond meal
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1 lime, zested
- 1/3 cup of frozen raspberries
- 1 tbsp icing sugar to dust
- yoghurt or vanilla ice cream to serve
Pre-heat the oven to 180C fan-forced and grease and line a 26cm round spring-form or loose-bottom cake tin.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugar and spread until they are light and fluffy then mix in the eggs.
Take the bowl off the stand then add the flour, polenta, almond meal, lemon and lime zests and juice from half a lemon.
Fold it all together until just combined.
Spread the batter into the cake tin.
Heat the raspberries in the microwave until you can mash them up easily. Spoon them into a zip-lock bag and snip off one of the corners.
Pipe the raspberries in a spiral on top of the batter and then use a knife to cut it through a little bit.
Bake the cake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Leave the baked cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Use a fork or a cake tester to prick the surface of the cake all over and then pour the rest of the lemon juice over it.
The cake can be served warm dusted with icing sugar or left to cool then dusted.
Best served with some yoghurt or vanilla ice cream.