Peach Polenta Cake
Based on a recipe from the Irish Times, this summery cake gets its rustic texture from polenta and ground almonds. The peach puree and the orange juice syrup make the cake super moist and fruity – similar to many of the rich, dense syrupy cakes in the Middle East. The apricot glaze adds to the moisture and maximizes the fruity intensity and keeps the fruit on top of the cake looking vibrant. Make sure to give the cake the time it needs to turn golden brown and firm to the touch.
Peach Polenta Cake
Preparation time 45 minutes
Bake time 70-80 minutes
Makes one 30cm (12in) loaf, about 10 servings
For the cake
- 3 eggs
- 200 grams (1 cup) sugar
- 200 milliliters (1 cup) vegetable oil [I used a mild olive oil]
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 3 small ripe peaches, washed, halved and stoned
- 65 grams (⅓ cup+1 tablespoon) finely ground, instant polenta or cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 200 grams (7 ounces or 2 cups) almond flour
- pinch of salt
For the syrup and glaze
- 100 milliliters (⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon) orange juice
- 75 grams (⅓ cup+2 teaspoons) sugar
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam, to glaze the cake
- Preheat the oven to 175C (350F). Grease and line the base and sides of a 30cm/12in loaf pan with parchment paper. Butter the parchment. Place the pan on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Measure all the ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and rum until the mixture is pale and thick, about 7-10 minutes.
- Puree half the peaches and add it to the egg mixture.
- Combine the polenta, baking powder, almond flour, and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg-peach mixture until combined.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Cut the remaining peach halves into slivers/ slices and arrange on the top of the cake.
- Bake for 70-80 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown. The baking time depends on the moisture content of the fruit and your cake may need more or less time to bake. If the top begins to over-brown, cover or tent the cake with foil.
- While the cake is baking, make the orange syrup. Heat the juice and sugar in a saucepan until it simmers. Set the syrup aside to cool slightly.
- When the cake is baked, take it out of the oven and pierce the top of the fully baked loaf with a skewer, creating tiny holes for the syrup to seep into. Use a tablespoon to slowly spoon the syrup over the warm cake. Leave the cake to cool fully in the pan.
- Warm the apricot jam and brush the top of the peach pieces to preserve the vibrant look of the fruit.
- Use the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan onto a serving platter. Serve with whipped cream.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Note: The original Irish Times recipe can be found here.
Published: 11 July 2020