Polenta Cake

polenta cake 2

Polenta is a new ingredient that I have been exploring in different ways, a cake is what I came up with; different isnt it? It is also a gluten free ingredient. Gluten is a protein found in many grains like wheat, bulgur (dalia), couscous, oats etc. A lot of people these days are either being diagnosed as gluten intolerant or choose to go on a gluten free diet for various reasons. What I realized was that polenta is a great ingredient to work with! From savory to sweet, it knows how exactly to blend in with its fellow ingredients. Polenta is also a great substitute for mashed potatoes or you could also serve them as a side in your steaks or bakes.

Polenta cake has a nice moist, grainy and crumbly texture. The minute I saw the finished cake, I knew it has to be good! This cake can be served with your tea/coffee or as a dessert. I recently had some guests at home and served it with some poached peaches, infused with vanilla. You could also use mixed poached fruits to give it a nice colorful and fruitful appeal. I also served mine with some cream cheese. However, my friends on the second serving suggested that ice-cream would be a really good option.

polenta cake 1

Ingredients:

(Serves 6-8)

100 gms fine polenta

100 gms ground almond or almond meal

100 gms butter at room temperature

100 gms raw sugar

5 gms baking powder

2 eggs at room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla extract or pure vanilla powder

Procedure:

  1. Sieve polenta and baking powder in a bowl. Add almond meal and mix. Keep this dry mix aside.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar in a separate bowl. Add eggs and mix until creamy in texture.
  3. Add vanilla and dry mix to this wet mixture. Mix until combined. Do not mix vigorously.
  4. Put this mixture in a round cake pan and bake  at 180 degree centigrade in a pre heated oven for about 25 minutes or depending on your oven settings.
  5. Test the cake by inserting a tooth pick and checking if the center is cooked. Cool on a wire rack for at  two hours and serve warm or cold with ice-cream or some poached fruits.

I’ve noticed that the cake tastes much better the next day or on a third day. You can store this cake at room temperature for 3 days in cold weather condition.

polenta 3

Ingredients like polenta & raw sugar are available at  i2cook.com.

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My cooking class

I used to be  fascinated by chefs or cooks showcasing their culinary skills on television, as a kid. I would sometimes play alone narrating what I had seen. I would talk to myself and recall the ingredients used!

I grew up and things changed. Buried under college assignments and work, I slowly forgot how much I love cooking. Things eventually changed for good and I’m so glad that it directed me back to my passion – cooking!

My first cooking class was an experience to cook together. I’ve always enjoyed cooking alone and even remember asking my mom to leave the kitchen while I cook in her kitchen. She would wait patiently for me to churn out something yummy. Habitually, she leaves me alone to cook all by myself till date, waiting anxiously with a glass of her favourite port wine.

Cooking together is a fun activity and I believe that we all learn something at the end – whether from an instructor or from the guests. Conversations become the key ingredient to any class. We end up talking about food and food only. How I love it! Talking about simple ingredient like rock salt and iodized salt can make the conversations informative and also gives a sense of discovery.

i2cook cooking class aims to bring people and conversations together while inspiring you to cook. It aims at making enhancers or condiments and enjoy the true flavours of ingredients. The first  i2cook class took place in July, we made three dips to showcase that dips can be made attractive to kick-start your party. I’m sharing all the recipes of the class for those who have missed and for those who would like to make.

Mexican Seven Layered Dip

Mexican Seven Layered Dip

(Serves 2, the measurements are approx. You can add more of anything if you like to indulge in  guilt-free happiness)

100gms red beans/rajma, boiled & mashed

1tbs chopped canned jalapenos

1/2tsp cumin powder

2-4tbs grated sharp cheddar cheese

100-150gms sour cream (homemade or store bought)

100-150gms guacamole

2-4tbs grated Monterrey Jack cheese

1/2tbs black olives, pitted

60 – 75gms Pico De Gallo

Recipe for Pico De Gallo – ½ red onion finely diced, ½ red tomato finely diced, 1tbs chopped cilantro, 1tsp fresh lime juice, 1/2tbs chopped canned or fresh jalapenos, salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all the ingredients and it is ready to serve.

Recipe for Guacamole – half ripe avocado, ½ red onion finely diced, ½ red tomato finely diced, 1tbs chopped cilantro, 1tsp fresh lime juice, 1/2tbs chopped canned or fresh jalapenos, salt and pepper to taste.

Mash the avocado coarsely. Mix all the ingredients and it is ready to serve.

Recipe for Sour cream – 100gms cream, 25gms buttermilk or sour cream.

Mix all the ingredients in a jar. Allow it to stand at room temperature for 24 hours, covered. Refrigerate for further thickening. Sour cream can be refrigerated upto a week.

Homemade Sour Cream

Layering

  1. Mix the beans, cumin powder, jalapenos and salt in a bowl. Lay it at the bottom of the serving dish.
  2. Sprinkle cheddar cheese.
  3. Spread sour cream evenly in a single layer and take care not to disturb the cheese underneath.
  4. Spread the layer of guacamole over the sour cream.
  5. Sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese.
  6. Place a layer of pico de gallo.
  7. Lastly, sprinkle some black olives and jalapenos.

Serve cold or at room temperature with nachos.

Sour Cream Dip

Corn & Bacon Dip or Corn & Sour Cream Dip

(Serves 2, the measurements are approx. You can add more of anything if you like to indulge in  guilt-free happiness)

100gms sour cream

1-2tbs grated sharp cheddar cheese

1-2tbs grated Monterey Jack cheese

1tsp dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

For garnish cooked sweet corn kernels, chopped green chillies and/or crispy bacon bits

Mix all the ingredients apart from garnish and keep it refrigerated for an hour. Fill the tarts with dip and garnish.

You could also serve with crackers or veggies.

Date & Tamarind Chutney

Date & Tamarind Chutney (Indian dip

(Serves 2, You will get approx.300gms of finished chutney)

100gms dates, seedless and washed

1/2tsp ginger powder

50gms jaggery

60gms tamarind paste

1/2tsp chilli powder

1/2tsp cumin powder

250ml water

  1. Puree the dates in a grinder. Do not fine grind it. It is nice to taste bits of dates in your chutney.
  2. Mix date puree, tamarind, jaggery, water and chilli powder in a pan and cook on medium heat.
  3. Allow it to cook for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Add cumin powder and turn off the stove.
  5. Allow the chutney to cool. Keep refrigerated for a month or two.

Serve hot, cold or at room temperature with samosas, chats and many more Indian delicacies.

The event was carried out with the help of Groovy Two Shoes and we enjoyed ourselves pulling it off. The hard work did pay off.  Have a look at the Groovy two shoes’s FB page and the blog.

The classes will be  held regularly in Bandra, Mumbai. Follow i2cook’s FB page for latest updates.

All set before the class

Cooking together!

Choose what you like….

Networking after the class over chai

Giveaway!

A true foodie…