Right after New Year’s, we decided to go for a day trip to Doncaster. I had never been, so I was quite surprised to find out that, at least in my opinion, time looks as if it has stopped about 15 years ago in that town. Once you have seen the highstreet shops in the newly refurbished shopping centre adjacent to the train station, you are left with very little to behold in the city centre. Also, it was pouring that day, which clearly didn’t help. Anyway, all things considered, it turned out to be quite a rewarding trip if only for the discounted cooking and baking book I found in one of the many shops. One of these books is Vegan and Gluten-Free Baking (edited by Love Food), which is where I found this recipe.
It’s all very simple and straightforward. You will find most of the ingredients in health food stores or even in supermarkets. One suggestion, however, would be to buy cornmeal rather than polenta. Cornmeal is very finely ground, while polenta (including the one for quick preparation) has a coarser texture. Both lend themselves quite well to this cake, but I would go for cornmeal to avoid having crunchy bits under your teeth. That said, my official vegan and gluten-free taster loved it. I quite like the fact the polenta and rapeseed oil lend their golden colour to the cake. Blueberries make for a dramatic contrast, but blackberries or raspberries would probably work just as fine.
- vegan and gluten-free margarine, for greasing
- 250g quick cook polenta
- 3 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1 tsp xantham gum
- vegan and gluten-free egg replacer, equivalent to 3 eggs
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 125ml rapeseed oil
- 1 unwaxed lemon, zest only
- 1 unwaxed apple
- 125g blueberries
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm round, loose based cake tin with the margarine, then line the base with baking parchment.
- Put the polenta, baking powder and xantham gum into a large mixing bowl and combine together with a wooden spoon.
- Make up the egg replacer in a small bowl according to the packet instructions and beat with a fork for a minute until bubbly. Put the sugar and oil in a separate mixing bowl and beat them together with a fork. Gradually add the egg replacer and lemon zest and continue beating until the ingredients are well combined.
- Peel, core and grate the apple and mix it into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the wet ingredients onto the polenta mixture and stir well to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the cake and gently press them onto the surface of the mixture.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the tin. Enjoy!