Some time ago I ordered a small of semolina in the weekly online shop, but it turned out they’d run out of the small bags, and the medium bags for that matter, so they substituted it (at no extra cost) for a huge bag. Consequently I’ve got a huge bag of semolina that needs using up.
Last night on Masterchef someone baked a delicious looking polenta cake. On my cycle to work this morning I suddenly thought ‘ohhh I could use up some of that huge bag of polenta I’ve got and make a similar cake this weekend!’ So this evening I hit the interwebs and researched polenta cake and decided to make one with fresh figs and a lemon, honey & balsamic syrup that goes on at the end. Mmm! So I headed off and added fresh figs and lemons to my weekly online shopping order.
You’ve probably spotted my obvious error already: I’d confused polenta with semolina – DOH!
At this point I was rather disappointed as I was all geared up to make a cake… Thankfully it turns out you can make semolina cakes as well!
And then I found out they ran out of fresh figs! This recipe is not going well and I haven’t even started baking it yet! But I’m not giving up! I’m going to do rhubarb instead, putting it inside the cake rather than on top and dropping the balsamic from the syrup.
For the cake:
- 400g rhubarb
- 50g brown sugar
- 150g ground almonds
- 200g semolina
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 220g butter
- 220g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- Zest of 2 lemons
Chop the rhubarb into small pieces and mix with the brown sugar and let sit for 30 minutes so the sugar can extract some of the moisture from the rhubarb and sweeten it at the same time.
Line a 23cm spring-form cake tin with parchment paper.
Mix the ground almonds, semolina & baking powder. Cream the butter & sugar, beat in the eggs and lemon zest, then mix in the dry ingredients. Finally fold in the rhubarb by hand. Transfer to the cake tin.
Bake at 160C fan for 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out at least mostly clean.
For the syrup
- Juice of 4 lemons
- 4 tbsp honey
Boil this down on the hob to form a sticky syrup, poke holes in the cake with a toothpick, and pour over.
Cutting into it… well it’s more of a pudding than a cake!
The rhubarb really works to cut through the sweetness of the cake. However it’s only really cake for a outer few centimetres: the middle was clearly more of a pudding. A few more minutes in the oven are clearly required to make it into an actual cake. But the flavours are great, and I wil be having another large slice soon!