After a long break, I’m back to share a recipe. This vegan and plant-based Polenta, Cherry, and Almond Cake is a delectable dessert that is both delicious and easy to make. Whether you’re looking for a sweet treat to accompany your afternoon tea or a scrumptious dessert to impress your guests, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings.
The recipe is inspired by the “The Simple Plant-Based Cookbook” by Merchant Gourmet, which offers a variety of plant-based recipes that are easy to make using lentils and grains. With the global meat consumption and the impact of the climate crisis, it is becoming increasingly important to incorporate plant-based ingredients in our diets. This recipe is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy a tasty dessert at the same time.
What’s more, this cake is entirely vegan, as it does not contain any eggs or dairy. Instead, it uses vegetable oil and almond milk to achieve the same moist and fluffy texture as traditional cakes. Not only is this cake a healthier alternative, but it also packs in a range of nutrients, including protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
This cake is a delightful addition to any afternoon tea or after-dinner treat, especially when served slightly warm with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream or a dollop of luscious mascarpone cream.
One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can easily swap out the cherries with any other fruit that you like and is in season. For instance, blueberries or raspberries in summer or chopped apples and pears in winter. Frozen fruits are also an excellent option to use in this recipe. You can even experiment with the nuts, substituting almonds for walnuts, pecans, or using a combination of all three.
Overall, this Polenta, Cherry, and Almond Cake is a great addition to any diet (whether it’s plant-based or not). It’s simple, tasty, and packed with nutrients, making it a wholesome treat that can be enjoyed by anyone.
- 110ml vegetable oil (such as sunflower or groundnut oil), plus extra for oiling
- 200g self-raising flour (see notes)
- 150g ground polenta
- 225g caster sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Small pinch of sea salt
- 200g cherries, pitted
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 250ml almond milk
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- 50g almonds, roughly chopped
Notes: to substitute 200g self-raising flour, combine 200g plain flour with 3 teaspoons of baking powder. Sift them together to ensure the baking powder is evenly distributed in the flour mixture.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan.
Oil the base and sides of a 23cm round loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with non-stick parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, polenta, caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and three- quarters of the cherries, mixing well so that all the cherries are coated in the flour.
In a separate bowl or jug, stir together the lemon zest and juice, oil and milk. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Slowly fold through the wet mixture, using a large spoon or spatula until fully combined.
Add the batter to the cake tin and smooth the top using the back of a spoon. Add the remaining cherries on top and sprinkle with the demerara sugar and almonds.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted through the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing from the tin to a wire rack. Keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted a copy of ‘The Simple Plant-Based Cookbook’ by Merchant Gourmet. All views are my own.
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