most of my kitchen adventures involve chocolate, so using pears and polenta in this recipe was a new experience for me! i was quite pleased with it- for a relatively minimal effort, this recipe produces a rather impressive result. the caramelised brown sugar glaze on the pears is delicious, and the cake itself is really rich and moist. served warm, it's dense texture makes it a decadent desert- just top with double cream. or serve it chilled with coffee for afternoon tea.
380g brown sugar
2tsp vanilla essence
250mls white wine
250mls sunflower oil
310g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
120g fine polenta
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
120mls lemon juice
prepare the tin by buttering it generously and dusting with brown sugar
peel, core and slice pears. arrange in a circular pattern on the base of the tin.
beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until light and creamy. add the wine and oil and mix in gently. sift together the flour and baking powder, then fold in gently. then add the polenta and mix gently again.
pour the cake mix carefully over the pears and bake in a 160C oven for about 80 minutes or until the cake is firm in the middle.
while the cake is baking bring syrup ingredients to boil then allow to cool.
when the cake comes out of the oven tip it upside down onto a serving plate, lightly prick the cake and pour over the warm syrup.