Henrietta Inman has baked her way across Italy, France, and the UK, always using the most natural ingredients available to her. After years as a pastry chef and author in Suffolk, Inman has brought all her favorite techniques for natural baking together in her new cookbook. The Natural Baker ($30) includes healthy and fresh recipes for every part of your day, including the best part — dessert. You don’t have to be a trained pastry chef like Inman to accomplish beautiful tarts or tiered cakes. She walks you through each step with clear, careful instructions and, in some cases, full color photographs.
What better way to try your hand at your own artful confection than with a summer berry cake? Don’t be intimidated —you’ll be a natural in no time.
Polenta, kefir, coconut, raspberry, and lemon cake with raspberry ripple yogurt cream
(Serves 12 to 14)
- unsalted butter, for the pans
- ⅔ cup quick-cook polenta or cornmeal
- ⅔ cup brown rice flour
- ¾ cup desiccated (dried unsweetened) coconut
- 1 ¼ cups golden caster sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
- a pinch of sea salt flakes
- 1 ½ cups kefir, buttermilk, or natural yogurt
- ⅔ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups Greek-style yogurt, the thickest you can find
- finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons golden icing (confectioners’) sugar
- 2 ½ cups fresh raspberries, plus more to serve
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the sides and bases of 3, 8-inch loose-bottomed cake pans. Line the bases with baking parchment.
- In a bowl, mix together the polenta, rice flour, coconut, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt, using a whisk to disperse all the ingredients evenly.
- Separately combine the kefir or buttermilk or yogurt, coconut oil, and eggs, then mix them into the dry ingredients.
- Finally, fold in the raspberries, treating the mix as lightly as possible to keep them whole. Divide the mix between the 3 pans, using about 1 pound and 2 ounces in each pan. Smooth out the tops with a step or cranked palette knife, or the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the pans and bake for a further 10–15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean. Leave to cool. They can be frozen at this stage for up to 1 month.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold in the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and icing (confectioners’) sugar. Finally, fold in the raspberries.
- Build the cake by spreading each layer with one-third of the cream, trying to top the stack with the most attractive sponge. Finish with extra raspberries (plus their leaves, if you have them) and serve. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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(Recipe via Henrietta Inman / Jacqui Small, The Quarto Group )