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    Melon and Polenta Upside-Down Cake

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    Melon and Polenta Upside-Down Cake

    Italians use polenta instead of flour in their cakes. Here, we have used it to give a moist texture. The remaining melon can be used for breakfast or a snack.

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes
    • Cooking time: 45 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes 60 minutes 10 minutes

    Serves: 8


    • 1 Charentais melon
    • 1 Piel de Sapo melon
    • 16 physalis
    • 175g golden caster sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 4 pieces Waitrose Stem Ginger in Syrup, plus 4 tbsp of the syrup
    • 120ml Waitrose Safflower Oil
    • 50g Valsugana Instant Polenta
    • 100g Waitrose Self-Raising Flour


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.
    2. Generously grease and line the base of a 21cm spring-form cake tin. Scoop away any seeds from the melons then, using a sharp knife, cut the skin away. Cut half of each melon into slim crescents. Drain on kitchen paper. Reserve 8 of the physalis. Peel the papery leaves from the rest. Cut in half and mix with the melon crescents.
    3. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of the sugar over the base of the tin and arrange a thin layer of the prepared fruit to cover the base. Drizzle with 2 tbsp ginger syrup.
    4. Roughly chop the remaining melon halves and set aside with the remaining cut physalis.
    5. Beat together the eggs, sugar and remaining syrup for 4-5 minutes until thick and creamy, then gradually beat in the oil. The mixture will thicken.
    6. Carefully fold in the remaining fruit and chopped ginger. Sift in the polenta and flour and mix.
    7. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until firm to the touch and golden brown. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Serve decorated with the reserved physalis.

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    Cook's tips

    The cake can be made in advance and served cold with mascarpone and ginger syrup. Melon and physalis make a wonderful partnership, so try mixing together and serving in brandysnap baskets.


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