Savoury Polenta Cake

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This is a great recipe for Christmas entertaining. It’s as easy to make as a batch of muffins, and the batter can be baked in a cake tin and cut into squares for serving, or as little mini muffins. This recipe comes from my lovely friend Stephanie who first made it for me. It’s really versatile… you can use the basic batter (ie the ingredients below up to and including the eggs) and create any type of savoury cake you like by changing the ingredients that come after it.

  • 1.5 cups polenta
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for the top
  • 2 eggs
  • Two tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs such as chives, parsley, basil and dill (use a single herb or a mixture of at least two).
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons black pitted olives, sliced
  • 1 cup mixed small diced vegetables, such as zucchini, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, corn kernels (I like to use one red and one green vegetable to get some nice colours going)

Preheat the oven to 180c.

Grease and flour a square medium size cake or brownie pan, or a 24 capacity mini muffin tin (if using the muffin tin I just grease with a little olive oil). Don’t worry too much about the size of the cake tin, as long as it’s not very large or small it will be fine.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, polenta and baking powder. Add the vegetables, olives, shallots and herbs and combine. In another bowl mix the eggs, milk, yoghurt, oil and cheese and beat with a fork until combined. Add to the other ingredients and mix gently to combine. You should have a batter of muffin-type consistency but if it’s dry, add a little extra milk. Don’t overmix.

Pour into the cake tin or muffin tin and sprinkle some extra parmesan cheese on the top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes for a full cake or 15-20 minutes for mini muffins. Test by inserting a spaghetti stick or skewer into the middle.

Allow to cool a little then turn out. If making the cake, cut into squares and top with anything that takes your fancy – I like a little basil leaf and halved cherry tomatoes. You could wrap each mini muffin in a sliver of prosciutto or just scatter with some chopped herbs.

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