nectarine polenta and basil loaf cake

I've had this Helen Goh recipe for a gluten free nectarine, polenta and basil loaf bookmarked for ages. I've just been waiting for nectarines to come into season. As we're in the midst of summer in Sydney, stone fruit have finally made their way into the fruit shop. Expect all things nectarine, plum and apricot for the next few weeks.


I whizzed this cake up in the food processor so it took no time at all to come together. I think weighing out all the ingredients and lining the loaf tin took longer than preparing the batter.

As expected from a Helen Goh recipe it's easy to follow and the cake is bursting with flavour. The basil flavoured sugar is so yummy, I'm sure I'll be using it again in another recipe.
Here's the recipe for you, which makes a small loaf cake. For all my recipes, For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Nectarine, polenta and basil loaf cake


167g caster sugar

17g basil leaves

100g unsalted butter, at room temperature

80g ricotta cheese

2 tsp lemon zest

2 large eggs

40mls lemon juice

150g almond meal

75g maize flour or fine polenta

1 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

2-3 small ripe nectarines, stoned and sliced into eighths and sprinkled with 1 tbs caster sugar



Preheat the oven to 190˚C conventional. Grease and line a small loaf tin with baking paper, allowing a generous overhang on the sides to make it easier to lift out the cake later.

Place the sugar and basil leaves in a food processor and process until you are left with a gloriously damp emerald-coloured sugar. Set aside 1½ tablespoons of the sugar for sprinkling on top of the cake later.

Add the butter, ricotta and lemon zest to the sugar in the food processor. Process until mixture has lightened. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing after each addition. It will look curdled, but this will not affect the end result.


In a small bowl, place the almond meal, polenta, baking powder and salt. Whisk together to combine, ensuring there are no lumps. Add to the butter mixture in three batches, processing between each addition. Add the lemon juice and mix to combine. When fully incorporated, scrape the mixture into the lined loaf tin, smoothing the top.

Arrange the nectarine slices on top, overlapping slightly, then place in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cover the top loosely with foil if the fruit looks like it is getting too dark.

Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before lifting the cake onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. Just before serving, sprinkle with the reserved basil sugar.

The cake smells as good as it looks and tastes even better.
See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.
Bye for now,



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