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New England spider cake

A dense and delicious number, this skillet cake has a just-set cream top that's crying out for a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 6
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus standing
New England spider cake

If you're after an ethereally light and fluffy cake, this one's not for you. A dense and delicious number, it has a just-set cream top that's crying out for a generous drizzle of maple syrup. And who are we to refuse? In New England this is served with crisp bacon for breakfast, but we like it as a dig-in dessert, too.

Ingredients

  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
  • 165 gm (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 130 gm coarse polenta
  • 110 gm (3/4 cup) plain flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
  • 20 gm butter, diced
  • 200 ml pouring cream
  • Pure icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
  • Maple Syrup, to serve

Method

  • 1
    Preheat oven to 170C. Combine milk and lemon juice in a bowl and leave to curdle (2-3 minutes). Mix sugar, polenta, flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl to combine. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and curdled milk and whisk until smooth.
  • 2
    Melt butter in a 30cm-diameter ovenproof cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add batter, then pour cream into the centre. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown and set (50 minutes to 1 hour). Stand for 20 minutes, then dust with extra cinnamon and icing sugar, and serve warm topped with maple syrup.

Notes

Drink Suggestion: Spicy mulled cider. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.