August 14, 2007

Chocolate Polenta Cake - Gluten Free

The gluten free Blueberry Polenta Cake I made in July, was quickly eaten up by my family. It tasted so good that I decided to try making another type of polenta cake.

I located a wonderful recipe for Chocolate Polenta Cake by Master Chef Christine Collins from the UK. She writes for The Eastern Daily Press (EDP24) from Norfolk, England.

A very enjoyable cake recipe that enjoyed a variety of ways. Served plain, with hot fudge sauce or with vanilla ice cream, it was thoroughly enjoyed by my family.

I made sure to use gluten free ingredients, halved the recipe and then adjusted the quantities as I was converting it from metric. You can buy gluten free yellow corn meal from Arrowhead Mills, gluten free baking powder can be purchased from Bob's Red Mill and gluten free cocoa powder by Shiloh Farms can be found at the Gluten Free Mall. I have also found a gluten free organic Cocoa Powder at Trader Joe's, but make sure to read the labels. (Note from August 25, 2007: See the comments made by Nick and myself below as to why this paragraph was adjusted for clarity.)


1/2 cup + 2 Tb butter
1/2 cup + 2 Tb sugar
3/4 cup almond meal
3 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
2 eggs, beaten
5 Tb yellow polenta or fine cornmeal
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 4 X 10 loaf pan with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, dump in the almond meal, cocoa, polenta or cornmeal and baking powder. Stir together.

3. Plop the butter into a mixing bowl and cream on medium speed. Pour in the sugar and mix with the butter. Add the beaten eggs and almond extract to the bowl and continue to mix.

4. Slowly pour in the dry ingredients in to the mixing bowl and combine on low speed.

5. Pour the cake batter into the pan and spread to even it out.

6. Bake for 45 minutes or until a pick comes out clean. Serve with ice cream or fudge sauce.

What did my taste testers think? My husband and I thought it tasted great. My son thought the cake was okay, but didn't care for the flavor of the the almond extract. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed the cake and preferred having it with hot fudge sauce.


Karen said...

That looks wonderful! I hope to try that soon.


Natalie said...

What a great pairing-chocolate and polenta! I am intrigued! Once I get the almond meal I will make this asap.

Nick said...

great recipe.

but, please be honest!

- i don't see how you "modified Chef Collins recipe to be gluten free".

- it's very easy to follow the link to the original recipe and see that there is no source of gluten in that recipe either.

- you have not changed the ingredients one bit - just quantities and slight alteration of the names of the ingredients.

Sheltie Girl said...

Karen & Natalie - I'm glad you like the recipe, so did my family. Chef Collins worked up a wonderful cake.

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi Nick - Thanks for stopping by the blog.

Chef Collins worked up a wonderful recipe that is gluten free when each ingredient is taken at face value. So, depending on which brand of ingredients someone or even Chef Collins chose to use that could determine whether or not the cake that was baked had gluten or not.

The problem lies in the manufacturing processes for some of these foods. After manufacturing they can contain gluten through cross contamination with the processing line. Other products can have wheat or another gluten containing grain added to them for them to flow (i.e. some spices), or not stick together (i.e. marshmellows), or for brewing (i.e. soy sauce).

I must maintain a gluten free diet, because of a medical diagnosis. Most of the folks who read this blog have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or are gluten intolerant.

Therefore, all the ingredients used in the baking of this recipe must be truly gluten free. So that means, gluten free baking powder, gf corn meal, etc. All of these types of products can be ordered through companies such as, Authentic Foods, Bob's Red Mill, Arrowhead Mills, Gluten Free Mall, Gluten, etc.

I think your argument lies not with my not being honest, but with my use of the word modified. Since word usage and definitions can be argued about, maybe what you are actually seeking is additional clarification. So, I'll adjust the wording in that paragraph to reflect the caution one needs to use in order for the baked cake to be gluten free.

Sheltie Girl