Polenta and Olive Oil Cake with Vin Santo Pears

Polenta is not only reserved for savoury dishes, and for good reason. It is commonly used in cakes and desserts throughout Italy, especially in the north where it is a staple. Paired with a little flour and some ground almonds in this cake, the polenta gives a unique pleasant grittiness that is impossible to achieve with flour or almonds alone.

Like the polenta, the olive oil is so important. It provides a richness and lush texture, which is why I’m such a huge fan. I use it instead of butter in most cakes and it also makes baking even easier – no more trying to soften butter in the sun because you forgot to take it out of the fridge in time!

Once you top the cake with the pears and drizzle over the syrup, serve it immediately as the syrup disappears into the cake really quickly. Alternatively, serve it on the side and drizzle over individual pieces for maximum syrup enjoyment!



For the cake //
180g blanched almonds
80g plain flour
180g coarse polenta
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
140g caster sugar
150ml olive oil
1 orange: juice, and zest

For the pears //
2 firm Beurre Bosc pears, cored, and halved or quartered
50g caster sugar
100ml Vin Santo
1 tbsp olive oil

To serve //


Recipeand photos by The Design flies


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