Tag Archives: almond

Citrus polenta cake

IMG_1382

PEEK-A-BOO

Where are you?

No, I’m not talking to C, I’m talking to you Sunshine.

Seriously, it’s weeks like these that I wonder why we moved away from the South of France. The weather here is pathetic!

In order to fix this, in the only way I know how, let’s bake some sunshine into our lives.

Citrus Polenta Cake
serves 10

50g polenta
200g ground almonds
50g plain flour (I used wholemeal)
1 teaspoon baking powder
125ml olive oil
100g butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs
150g caster sugar
juice and grated zest of a lemon
juice and grated zest of an orange

Mix the polenta, ground almonds, flour and baking powder together in a large bowl.

Whisk the eggs and caster sugar until pale (with machine or by hand), then slowly whisk in the oil and then the butter.

Whisk in the almond and polenta mixture, then add the lemon and orange juices followed by the zests.

Transfer the mixture to a lined baking tin (I used 20cm/8″) and bake in a preheated oven 160 / gas mark 3 for approximately 45 mins.

The cake should be slightly underdone in the middle. Leave to cool in the tray for 10 mins before removing (and eating!). It’s difficult to wait, but worth it.

Enjoy!

Bake

xoxo

Macarons in the making

Coffee macarons – first attempt.

I was tempted not to write this post. I definitely didn’t want to include any photos, but here we are!

For our anniversary (first year is paper) Shake bought me a little french book on making macarons. He always manages to pick something I have been thinking about without having told him! 

Today whilst baby napped I decided to make my first batch. I was really strict about measuring the ingredients accurately (very unlike me…) and borrowed an electric whisk for the egg whites as I wanted to make them as best I could.

I actually had to whisk the whites in the spare room so it didn’t wake the boy up – that’s one disadvantage of his room being next to the kitchen!

People seem to be daunted about making macarons, and having tried now I can see why! So, the purpose of this post is to document what went wrong and what I will change for next time.

Macarons resting

I am happy with my measurements, but having carried out some research after I made my mix, it is suggested to use egg whites that have been left out for at least 24 hours! Oops. Well, next time I will plan in advance.

Another factor I can change is that I think I needed to mix the mixture?batter? a little more as when piped onto the tray the macarons had little peaks (you don’t want to know what Shake said they looked like…!). I used a damp finger to smooth them down before baking, but this is apparently a sign of under-mixing.

Cracked macarons

I’m not 100% sure what was wrong with the shells above, but it might again be due to the mixture not being mixed enough? Or I didn’t leave them out for long enough before baking? Or they were in the oven for slightly too long? Hmmm….who knows!

Interestingly, these shells came off of the paper very easily, whereas the shells from the shelf above stuck to the baking paper. I say “interestingly”, but actually this was annoying!

I used a tip I read here (from the Macaron Queen :) ) and put some water under the sheet for a few minutes and they did mostly come off.

I made a coffee buttercream to fill the shells and we did sample a few.

They tasted pretty great, but obviously not as good as these (yet!).

If you have made macarons before and have any suggestions/hints for me I’d love to hear them!

Bake

xoxo