This traditional Italian cake is made with polenta flour, which gives it a moist but chewy texture. Drizzled with rosemary and lemon syrup and served with juicy fruit compote try it with afternoon tea.


  • 175g (6 oz) fine polenta (ground cornmeal)

  • 55g (2 oz) plain flour

  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder

  • .25 teaspoon salt

  • 5 tablespoons yoghurt

  • 5 tablespoons rapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing

  • grated rind of 2 lemons, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 free range eggs, plus 2 egg whites

  • 300g (10 and a half oz) caster sugar

  • 1 branch fresh rosemary

  • Crème fraiche

  • For the berry compote

  • 50g (1 lb) ripe berries such as raspberriers, blackberries or mixed berries (frozen are fine)

  • juice of 2 lemons

  • juice of 1 orange

  • 175g (6 oz) caster sugar

  • 1 bottle red wine

  • 85ml (3 fl oz) Créme de Mûre (blackberry liqueur, optional)


  • 1.

    Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4. Sift the polenta, flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Place the yoghurt, oil, lemon rind and juice into a jug and stir until combined.

  • 2.

    In a separate bowl, place the eggs and egg whites with 200g (7 oz) sugar and beat for a few minutes until creamy. Beat in the yoghurt mixture until smooth and then fold in the dry ingredients until just combined - do not over-mix.

  • 3.

    Pour the batter mixture into a 1.2 litre/2 pint lightly oiled loaf tin, lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

  • 4.

    Meanwhile, place the remaining sugar in a pan with 90 ml (3 and a half fl oz) of water and the rosemary branches. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool completely, then strain through a sieve.

  • 5.

    When the cake is cooked, place on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then invert and peel off the parchment paper. Prick all over with a toothpick and drizzle over half of the rosemary syrup so that it completely soaks into the cake, leave to cool completely.

  • For the compote:

  • 1.

    In a food processor blend the black berries with the two citrus juices until smooth. Strain the resulting purée through a fine sieve into a non-reactive saucepan. Discard the pips. Add the sugar and red wine and over a medium heat bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer. Skim off any scum that may come to the surface and discard. Reduce the purée to about 450ml (15 fl oz). Allow to cool, and then add the liqueur.

  • 2.

    To serve, cut the cake into slices and arrange on plates. Scatter around the berry compote. Add dollops of crème fraiche and serve.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

  • Energy 747kj
  • Fat Total 12g
  • Saturated Fat 1g
  • Protein 5g
  • Carbohydrate 127g
  • Sugar 90g
  • Sodium 217mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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