When the recipe wants ground almonds….polenta might just do!

Of course, you should always check your ingredients in advance – but how many of us actually do?!

I’m not very good at using other people’s recipes having written so many of my own but I bought Diana Henry’s book How To Eat a Peach and was determined to refresh my baking repertoire. I love flapjack, fruit cake and shortbread but we are playing bridge quite often and I thought teatimes were getting a bit same-y. I fancied the fig and honey cake but Nick is not keen on figs so I settled for the chocolate and olive oil cake – I was intrigued and duly bought the chocolate so that I was ready to bake.

With friends arriving in about 90 minutes I turned the oven on, read the recipe and then found I had neither ground nuts or the right sized tin for baking! I was, however, emotionally committed to chocolate and olive oil and had fresh eggs from the farm over the field. It had to be a 23cm diameter tin instead of the required 20cm pan with a shorter baking time, and 2 tbsp polenta in place of the missing nuts.

The result? Delicious! A gluten-free, dairy-free and richly, different dessert or cake.

The book? Highly recommended – enjoy the recipes, the stories and the tactile, peach-textured cover.

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