Mandarin and Lemon Polenta Loaf with Chia Seeds, Almonds and a Lemony glaze

This loaf is very very moist and quite dense, however it is not stodgy at all! The lovely flavour of the mandarins and lemon in this loaf is made by you boiling down the fruits  until tender then blended into a puree, which forms the base of this loaf. It is also gluten free as it uses ground almonds and polenta instead of flour. To finish it off, its drizzled with a lemoney glaze and topped with fresh lemon zest and slithered almonds. I found that it was best served with some natural unsweetened yogurt.

Mandarin and Lemon Polenta Loaf with Chia Seeds, Almonds and a Lemony glaze
adapted from the Ripe Cookbook

2 medium mandarins, topped and tailed
1 small lemon, topped and tailed
105 g fine ground polenta
15 g corn flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
pinch of salt
125g softened butter
1 cup castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs

Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup icing sugar
juice and zest of 1 lemon

Few tbsp. slithered almonds

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees. Grease and line a 12 x 22cm loaf tin with baking paper.

In a sauce pan, place the mandarins and lemon. top with boiling water until the fruits are covered and bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes, turning the fruits after 5 minutes. Set the fruits aside to cool a little before blending in a food processor until a smooth puree is formed. Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, combine the polenta, cornflour, ground almonds, baking powder, chia seeds and salt. Set aside. 

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time making sure they are well incorporated after each addition. Add 1/2 cup of the polenta mixture along with a few table spoons of the fruit puree and mix to combine. Repeat with the remaining polenta mixture and puree until it is all incorporated. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire cooling rack. While it is cooling, prepare the glaze. 

Mix together the icing sugar, lemon juice and half the zest until combined. Drizzle it over the cooled loaf and sprinkle over the remaining lemon zest and slithered almonds. Serve with a dollop of natural unsweetened yogurt. 

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