Happy 1st February & Saint Brigid’s Day everyone!
I’m sure like me you’re glad to see the back of such a long January. To celebrate, I’m sharing two recipes today – one sweet & one savoury. Hope you enjoy them,
Berry Crunch Cake
This cake is a delicious cross between a fruit crumble, cake and pudding…the addition of polenta into the mix gives it a lovely crunchy texture. Combining some sharp berries in the topping, this cake feels light and works well warm as a dessert served with Greek yoghurt or cream. It’s also delicious the next day, served cold with a cup of tea.
100g uncooked polenta, plus an extra 2 teaspoons
250g self-raising flour, sifted
150g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
150g butter, diced
1 large free range egg
Juice half lemon
200g mixed berries, frozen or fresh
1. Preheat oven to 180C / 170C fan. Grease a 24cm springform tin & line base with parchment paper.
2. Add the 100g polenta, the flour & sugar to a food processor and blitz briefly to combine. Add the lemon zest and diced butter then blitz again. If you don’t have a processor you can rub all the ingredients in together as you would a crumble.
3. Whisk egg lightly with the lemon juice then add to the dry ingredients, blitz until just combined. Don’t over process.
4. Spread 2/3 of the mix over the base of the tin, gently pressing down. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tsps of polenta over the base, then spread the berries over this. Top with the remaining crumble and press down lightly.
5. Cook in the preheated oven for 35-40 mins until the top is golden brown. Leave to cool a little before removing the sides from the tin.
Tomato, Basil & Parmesan Muffins
The youngest tried a few of these straight out of the oven and proclaimed them to taste like a pizza in one little bite…result! I bake these in little silicone mini-muffin trays, making them ideal as a bitesize canape or snack. You can also make them as more substantial regular sized muffins, great for a breakfast or lunch alternative. Using the same basic ingredients, you can swap out the tomato and herbs for other things like ham & cheddar, spring onion & goats cheese, smoked salmon & dill…whatever takes your fancy!
280g plain flour
1 tblsp baking powder
pinch of salt & good grind of black pepper
100g sundried tomatoes, in oil, finely chopped
6 tablespoon sunflower oil or the reserved oil from the jar of tomatoes
2 large free range eggs
Large bunch chopped basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
Freshly grated Parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 200C / 190C fan. Sift the flour & baking powder into a large bowl then stir in the salt & pepper.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes & stir into the flour.
3. In a jug, whisk the egg, buttermilk, oil, herbs and garlic together. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Gently combine, making sure not to over-mix. This helps them to remain lightly & fluffy when cooked.
4. Spoon mix into prepared muffin tray, then scatter the Parmesan over the top.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes if making mini-muffins or 20-25 minutes if regular size. They should be well risen and golden in colour.
6. Leave to cool in tin for about 5 mins before emptying onto wire rack. Best served warm!