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Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

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Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Fried polenta with mushrooms and Gorgonzola


This would also make a great light lunch, served with a green salad. You can cook the polenta a few days in advance and have it sliced and ready to be fried for quick entertaining.

You'll need

180 gm fine polenta 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped For shallow frying: vegetable oil 2 tbsp olive oil 600 gm assorted mushrooms, such as pine, slippery Jack, Swiss brown and portobello, larger ones thickly sliced 2 tbsp rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 80 gm Gorgonzola dolce latte (see note)

Method

  • 01
  • Bring 1 litre of salted water to the boil in a large saucepan. Gradually add polenta, stirring continuously until smooth (5-7 minutes). Continue to stir occasionally over medium-high heat (carefully as it will spit) until thick and grains are cooked through (25-30 minutes). Remove from heat, stir through 30gm butter and pour into a plastic-wrap-lined 28cm x 5cm loaf pan. Smooth top and refrigerate until cool and set (30-40 minutes). Remove from pan, take off plastic wrap, cut into 5mm-thick slices and set aside.
  • 02
  • Heat 1cm vegetable oil in a large frying pan over high heat until it shimmers. Add half the polenta slices and cook, turning once, until golden and crisp (5-7 minutes), remove with a slotted spatula, transfer to an absorbent-paper-lined plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining polenta slices.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add mushrooms and stir until they begin to colour (3-5 minutes), add remaining butter, rosemary and garlic, stir occasionally until golden (2-3 minutes). Season to taste and keep warm.
  • 04
  • To serve, top polenta slices with mushrooms, crumble over Gorgonzola and serve immediately.

Note Gorgonzola dolce latte is a mild-flavoured blue cheese, available from select Italian delicatessens.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

May 2009

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