Hazelnut, Chocolate and Polenta Cake

, from Issue #11. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Hazelnut, Chocolate and Polenta Cake

A delicious mix of chocolate, and polenta served with a raspberry sauce for the perfect balance of sweet and tart.


Serves: 10-12


325 grams butter at room temperature
325 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300 grams hazelnuts, roasted, skinned and finely ground
35 grams good quality cocoa, sifted
4 eggs
160 grams fine, quick cook polenta
11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt

Raspberry Sauce
500 grams frozen raspberries, thawed
icing sugar 1 lime
crème fraîche or thick yoghurt to serve


Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease the base and sides of a 26 cm cake tin with melted butter or canola spray and line both with baking paper.

Beat the butter, sugar and the vanilla together until pale and creamy. Mix through the ground hazelnuts and the cocoa. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Combine the polenta, baking powder and the salt and fold into the batter. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. The top will have formed a good crust. Transfer to a rack and leave to cool in the tin.

Raspberry Sauce: Place the thawed raspberries in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more icing sugar if needed then add a good squeeze of lime juice. Blend again and strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl, pushing the sauce through with the back of a spoon. Discard the seeds. Pour the sauce into a serving jug.

To serve: Remove the cake from the tin and carefully pull off the baking paper. Dust the top with icing sugar and serve in slices with raspberry sauce and crème fraîche or yoghurt.

The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.