Monthly Archives: July 2009

Plum & polenta cake

Who ate all the cakes?

I made this cake recently when I had a friend to stay for the weekend.

It is a variation on the rhubarb polenta cakes which we did earlier in the summer; perhaps the plums work even better, taste wise, than the rhubarb although I thought the cake was a little wet. Nobody else seemed to mind though.

For those of you who fancy a spot of baking now, you could make this cake successfully with other fruits too.

I think apricots or peaches would work a treat …. but I would replace the vanilla with almond essence to mirror the flavour of the stone of the fruits!

Serves 10 – 23cm springform, buttered and base lined

You’ll need:

500g fruit, washed and cut into pieces

250g Fairtrade golden caster sugar

150g plain flour

155g polenta -t he quick cook variety

1 tsp bicarb of soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 large free range eggs

1 tsp vanilla (or almond) essence

125g softened, unsalted butter

250g live bio yoghurt


1. preheat the oven to 180C/gasmark 4

2. mix the fruit with 100g of the sugar

3. mix the flour, bi-carb, cinnamon + cornmeal

4. whisk the eggs + essence in a jug

5. in another bowl, cream the butter + remaining sugar and slowly add the egg mixture

6. then add the flour mixture alternately with the yoghurt: don’t over-mix!

7. gently fold the fruit pieces thru the mixture

Bake in a pre-heated oven for approx. 1 hour and let the cake cool completely before removing from the tin.

Yummy, with a cup of coffee but equally good as a pudding with single cream/blob of mascarpone or ricotta or perhaps even vanilla ice cream.


“Gehaktballen” from Dungelman

Not exactly in keeping with the current spell of tropical weather we are experiencing here in London, but I just wanted to let you all know that Dungelman are still going strong.

Dungelman used to be a famous butcher, now a take-away/cafe + deli in The Hague, The Netherlands. See my blog “Fast Good” from a while back.

They are still based at their premises in de Hoogstraat in The Hague; in fact, I have it on good authority that they have added a range of delicious ready meals to their assortment and that they won  a price a couple of years ago for their “gehaktballen” (Dutch meatballs for the unitiatited…).

Interesting how this business has evolved from butcher to cafe + deli. A sign of the times I suppose: The Hague is not immune to the erosion of time to cook and cooking skills.

There you go, Johanna! Nothing to stop you now from planning your trip to The Hague and reminiscing about yesteryear.

I am feeling quite nostalgic about “kroketten”  (meat ragout encased in breadcrumbs and deep-fried: sounds revolting I know, until you try it) myself now….