Cordial to Cake - Cucumber & Lemon Polenta Cake recipe from Cucumber Cordial
Following on from my blog last week where I shared how to use orange skins to make cordial, my 'no food waste' journey has progressed to cake!
I was making a cucumber and lime cordial ( recipe below & it’s delicious ) and this light green pulp looked too good to waste, I had a Sunday lunch to attend the next day and was planning on baking a cake for dessert.
So, guess what I did? Yep, I poured the pulp into my cake baking mix and added polenta to give it structure. Then finally juiced and grated some lemon zest to give a sharp contrast in taste. The result turned into a light green, fluffy airy sponge cake with a slight cucumber and lemon taste. So I named it my Cucumber Lemon & Polenta cake.
What a discovery. And the response? The cake disappeared in 15-20 minutes!
Thankfully the cake was well received. My friend even suggested it would complement a delicious Hendricks cucumber gin and tonic for an indulgent afternoon tea!
This way of using up fruit and vegetable pulp to bake cakes has been a regular occurrence for me now for a few months and I have experimented with other recipes. I was baking some birthday cup cakes and had a good deal of orange pulp left and so they also became yummy orange flavoured cupcakes! ( I still have lots of orange pulp in the freezer).
The great thing is the cordial can also be used to make a delicious icing, one can never be too ready for when unexpected birthdays come up! ( Although I always make an excuse to make cake at anytime!)
The process to make the cucumber cordial is uncooked ( cucumber is blitzed) so I added a squeeze of lemon juice to preserve the ‘live’ aspect of the cordial to preserve the freshness of the pulp for the next day. The lemon would keep the cucumber fresh till I was ready to bake the cake. ( Squeezing lemon into a freshly made smoothie / blitzed fruit and vegetables keeps the nutrients ‘live’ for maximum goodness!)
Since making this beautiful cucumber & lemon cake I have baked orange cakes all with the same post cordial pulp. Every now and then, I forget about the pulp & have over soaked so the pulp becomes quite fluffy so is ideal for cake) as the pulp is often steeped in sugar solution for the cordial. You may want to cut back some sugar in your cake!
I am sure the pulp can be used for other things too such as crumble tops or biscuits even purees and sauces.
Many more recipes to discover!
Cucumber and Lime Cordial
1 large cucumber ( chopped in chunks for blender)
2 limes ( can use lemons)
Heat sugar in water and let cool.
Blitz cucumber in a nutribullet or food processor.
You should get a frothy cucumber juice.
Add cooled sugar water & squeeze in lime juice.
Strain in a cheese cloth and bottle in sterilized bottles.
Should be ok for 2 weeks in a fridge.
Served diluted & chilled with ice and lemon. Or as a mixer with Gin and Tonic...Cheers!
Cucumber and Lemon Cake
1 cucumber pulp ( from recipe above - use half blitzed cucumber if not making cordial)
1 cup sugar (approx 120g)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 ½ cup SR Flour ( approx 180g)
3 tablespoons of ground polenta ( can use dessicated coconut if no polenta)
juice & zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 170 C & line a greased baking sheet in a loaf tin.
Melt the butter & sugar in a hot pan when all melted, take off heat, add vanilla essence.
Making sure the mixture has cooled slightly, add beaten egg & cucumber pulp and mix in.
Add juice & zest of lemon. Fold in flour, polenta.
Pop the mixture in greased tin and bake for 40 minutes ( or skewer comes out clean from cake). Cool on a wire rack.
*You can also mix 50g icing sugar with some lemon juice to create a lovely drizzle icing .
( Poke some holes on the cake with a skewer so the icing can sink in.) Makes 1 loaf cake.