My son has started asking me what witchery I’m cooking up today. After nettle picking for soup and dandelion leaf and rocket pesto, I also made a dandelion syrup from the flower petals. I call it basic witchery😊 and my son is very interested. I wanted to do something with my new dandelion syrup and this polenta cake I’ve been meaning to put together for ages was a match made in heaven.
If you don’t have dandelion syrup or can’t be fussed making it, not to worry: you can use a regular lemon syrup which doesn’t take long to make as well. But of course with dandelion you get the added bonus of extra vitamins a and B12, and delicious antioxidants.
For the syrup: about 2 handfuls of dandelion petals (pull a flower in 2 and pick the petals out from the middle, it’s easier than trying to separate them one by one from the green), 150ml water, half a lemon, and 300g sugar
For the cake: 2 eggs
200g carrot puree (boil and puree carrots, let them cool down)
200g ground almonds
100g finely ground polenta
2 tsp baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp psyllium
Pinch of salt
Start making the syrup the night before: put petals and water in a pot on the fire to boil for a few minutes, then cover and let sit for the night.
The next morning, drain the liquid into another pot (make sure you squeeze the liquid out of the petals). Add the sugar, the juice of the lemon and the rest of the lemon cut into chunks. Let boil on a low heat for 2 hours or until it’s thick enough for your liking. Take the lemon chunks out. That’s your dandelion syrup!
For the cake, Pre-heat the oven to 180C
Beat the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes and add the rest of the ingredients.
Pour into a lined and oiled cake tin and bake on 180C for 20 minutes and 160C for 40 mins. Check if a skewer comes out cleanish (crumbs are ok bit it shouldn’t be too sticky).
With a skewer, prick holes in the cake and pour some of the syrup over it. Let the cake stand for another hour (difficult, I know), finish with petals and sugar (I wouldn’t normally, but this cake is almost medicinal…) and enjoy! The texture of this cake is quite crumbly btw, that’s normal. Enjoy with some cream!