Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Baking up a storm

Or a minor downpour, perhaps. I made brownies, and a lemon polenta cake for a work morning tea.

It was this lemon polenta cake from the BBC Good Food site. And these brownies from Chocolate & Zucchini. I read C&Z regularly, and it was a recent post just as I was contemplating what to make. And with all the lemons needing using from the tree down the side, a lemon cake seemed like a great alternate choice. I decided to try for a gluten-free variety, just in case any of my audience needed it.

I won't give recipes, because basically I just did what the recipes said. Instead, here are my notes on how it went.

For the lemon cake, I poured over a lemon juice based syrup rather than limoncello - it was for work, not a home dessert. Other than that, it was down the line following the recipe. It was pretty good, but I think it needs work. It came out nicely moist, but it was also quite fragile, tending to crumble easily. The polenta remained a little bit grittier than I'd like - I used an instant one, but still. And I felt the lemon flavour was not strong enough for my taste. More zest, or perhaps a bit of lemon oil should do it. My tree is, I believe, a Meyer lemon. They are relatively mild and sweet, so perhaps using the bitier shop lemons would improve it, too.

The brownies were absolutely fabulous. I used a mix of roasted almonds and macadamias for the nuts. The one issue I had with the recipe is that they are supposed to be done when the top goes shiny and cracks. But this didn't happen in the given time, nor in the two ten minute extensions I gave it. I called a halt there, as underdone has got to be better than dried out. I was a bit worried that I might have overdone them, but they came out fudgy, rich, and very strongly chocolatey. Nom. I do think that a slightly larger pan would have been good: they are pretty thick. Cut them very small to serve!


Teresa said...


I read your blog all the time, and had to comment on this post- this (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/recipes/article1973090.ece) is the limoncello and polenta cake that I make- which is my most favourite cake! It looks a bit different to the recipe you used, and I promise, it's an absolute star. Those brownies look really good too!


BJ said...

hey babe, thanks for the samples. we just got in from a very healthy vego dinner, so your nom contributions are very welcome. sorry to miss you. keep up the fabbo cooking!

Market Girl said...

Hi Cath,

just a quick reminder that Handmade is on again.

Sat the 7th Feb at Albert hall 10-6.

I am so pleased you came last time and would love to invite you again.

We have some fabulous food lined up this time from Lindsay & Edmunds Chocolates to Cake Sera Sera, Ideal coffee, Gingerbread cookies, Chai, Cranky Pants who are also doing the catering.

On the menu this time is Fresh rice paper rolls, Thai beef salad, Pumpkin fetta & Pine nut salad and the list goes on.

Come and say hello