Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow – Cookbook Review with a Recipe for Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel

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It’s no secret that I love to bake and cook. By extension I love cookbooks; not just for the recipes but for the stories inside and the inspiration they provide. I thank Quarto Cooks for sending me a copy of Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Lin Yeow at no charge for my honest review.

Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow

About Poh Bakes 100 Greats:

Poh Bakes 100 Greats shares Poh Ling Yeow’s must-have recipes that have been tried and perfected over her years of baking experience, both as a TV personality and the owner of her café and bakery Jamface.

Starting with ‘Savoury Stunners’, ‘Bake Sale Beauties’ and ‘French fundamentals’, recipes span beef stout pie with blue cheese crust and rosemary olive oil crackers to rhubarb and spiced orange brulee and orange kisses with cream centres. ‘Sweet Pies and Tantalising Tarts’ contain scrumptious recipes for blueberry bakewell tart; ‘Oldies but Goodies’ has mouth-watering pecan cinnamon scrolls; and ‘Thrills and Frills’ has exactly what it says on the tin, from Poh’s Magic Rainbow Piñata Birthday Cake to her lemon meringue cloud cake. Finally, you can branch out with Poh’s Black Forest crepe cake in her chapter on ‘Adventure Bakes’; get the perfect bake every time with the recipe for silken pear cake; and read-up on your ‘Must-Knows’ from ganaches and yogurt mascarpone cream to rum custard and lemon curd.

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About the Author:

Poh Ling Yeow is the Malaysian-born, Australia-raised hugely popular host of TV shows Poh & Co and Poh’s Kitchen. She originally came to prominence on the first series of the hit show MasterChef. Poh runs destination bakery cafe Jamface in South Australia, pop-up food events and somehow still finds the time to be an exhibiting fine artist.

My Opinion;

This is a beautiful cookbook. It’s full of stunning photos of the finished baked goods. Just what you need to spur you on to try and make the various savory and sweet bakes yourself. This is not just a cookbook for cakes and tarts as it does include recipes for breads and rustic meat pies too. The final chapter is called Must Knows and it includes basic recipes like creme patisserie, rough puff pastry and the like.

The other chapters are cleverly organized and titled like Savory Stunners, Bake Sale Beauties, French Fundamentals and so on. I adapted one of the recipes for my  Christmas dinner dessert from the Adventure Bakes section. It was a kind of cake I had never made before and I found the recipe easy to follow and my cake came out beautifully. All measurements are given in grams/ml, cups and ounces so there are no concerns with making your own conversions.

I am excited about trying many of the other recipes in the book in the coming months. It’s the kind of cookbook that anyone would love to have in their library as the recipes run the gamut from simple to spectacular. It gives a baker room to learn and grow while having fun along the way.

Rating:

5

Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel, recipe, Poh Bakes 100 Greats, upside down cake

Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel

Serves 12

  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the Balsamic Caramel

  • 3 1/4 oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 TBS balsamic vinegar

Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel, recipe, Poh Bakes 100 Greats, upside down cake

  • Line the bottom and side of a 9″ cake pan with parchment
  • Preheat the oven to 325° convect. If you don’t have convection heat to 350°

Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel, recipe, Poh Bakes 100 Greats, upside down cake

  • Line the bottom of the cake pan with the apple and cherries in a decorative pattern of your choice. I chose to put cherries (cut side down) around the outside edge, then the apples in a circle and I filled the center with the cherries. You might have some fruit left over. Set aside.

Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel, recipe, Poh Bakes 100 Greats, upside down cake

  • Make the balsamic caramel: place the butter, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small, non reactive saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for two minutes.

Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel, recipe, Poh Bakes 100 Greats, upside down cake

  • Drizzle a few spoonfuls over the fruit in the cake pan. Set the rest aside for serving.
  • Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until they are foamy. Add the 1/2 a cup of sugar a tablespoon at a time as you beat them to soft peaks. (You can either choose to use a medium bowl and a hand mixer or beat them in your stand mixer and move them to another bowl and continue on)

Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel, recipe, Poh Bakes 100 Greats, upside down cake

  • In a separate medium bowl (or if you are using your stand mixer, just add to your recently cleaned bowl) beat the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, butter, salt and vanilla until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolks, one at a time beating well after each one.
  • Fold in the flour, corn meal and baking powder. Then the lemon zest and milk. (It’s a little sloppy but you do not need your mixer. Just keep folding.)
  • Whisk in one third of the egg whites to lighten the batter.
  • Fold in the remaining egg whites taking care to mix well, but to not deflate the batter.

Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel, recipe, Poh Bakes 100 Greats, upside down cake

  • Pour batter over the fruit in the prepared pan.
  • Bake for about an hour. Cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean. Start checking at around 45 minutes.

Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel, recipe, Poh Bakes 100 Greats, upside down cake

  • Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack only ’til it’s just warm, then unmold onto a plate.

Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel, recipe, Poh Bakes 100 Greats, upside down cake

  • When ready to serve pour the remaining balsamic caramel over top. If necessary the caramel can be warmed to loosen it up.

How Was the Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel?

It was absolutely magical if you want to know. The whole Christmas dinner was comprised of things I had never made before from the rack of pork to this delicious upside down cake. I don’t know how I’d gotten to this age without ever having made one but things happen. I’m glad I finally tried. I have to say that the excitement of unmolding and seeing it work was amazing.

Upside Down Polenta Cake with Balsamic Caramel, recipe, Poh Bakes 100 Greats, upside down cake

 

I served it with our favorite spice cream and it was a truly delightful combination.

Questions? Comments? Leave them HERE

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