When asked why I keep buying recipe books when I have so many anyway, there's many number of reasons which I can offer. I buy recipe books because they have recipes I want to make in them; I like that particular author; I want to learn about a different style of cooking and every now and then, I'll buy a recipe book for that one recipe and 'Manna from Heaven' by Rachel Grisewood was one of those books that I bought for this very reason.
The recipe in the book is for a 24cm round Lemon Polenta Cake but the recipe also suggests that you can make mini cakes and a photo of the mini is actually what's featured in the book for this recipe. Having made and tried the recipe now, I'm hands up in favour for the mini cakes - not only are they adorable to look at, they are just the right size as a mini treat throughout the day.
Following recipe is for 24 mini cakes which I quadrupled for my catering do. Unfortunately, things didn't go as smoothly as planned and I urge you to check whether you have non-stick cooking pans at home before you pour your batter into one. Out of the 4 trays I made, only one tray made it through.
Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Grease a 24 hole mini muffin tray. In a large bowl, cream together 225g softened unsalted butter and 225g caster sugar until lump free. Slowly beat in 3 eggs, then fold in 110g ground almonds, 110g shredded coconut, 110g polenta, zest of 2 lemons, juice of 2 lemons, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp vanilla essence.
Pour into strictly non stick baking tins. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden.
Cool in the tin.
Turn out on a wire rack. Sadly, this was my one tray of cakes that managed to safely unmould from the tins. The others stuck and ended up having to go into the bin.
Place in colourful cupcake liners.
To make the icing, combine together 225g icing sugar and about 3 tbsp lemon juice in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the mini cakes, leaving the icing to set before you tuck in.
I ended up eating a lot of the cakes that didn't manage to unmould from the tins and didn't try it with the icing but I can attest to the fact that the recipe is a keeper. The texture of the cake is similar to a friand but with even more crumb (which is why a non-stick pan is required as trying to unmould these, I had the cake wanting to break up no matter how delicately I tried to remove them.) If you're thinking that keeping these in the oven for longer might help, it didn't because too long in the oven, the outer of the cakes gets very brown and very thick and sticky to eat.
So in the end, there was just the one box of lemon polenta cakes for my catering do. Hardly enough to feed 100 but I hope that the ones that got to try it out liked it!