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For Christmas my parents kindly gave me a copy of Jamie Oliver’s latest book, Jamie’s Italy. Over the last month I’ve been browsing through it and trying various recipes, all of which have been excellent so far.

We were out to dinner with friends from church today and had promised to take a pudding so I decided to turn to the chapter on dolci (desserts). The recipe that caught my eye was bustrengo, a bolognese polenta and apple cake.

As the picture on the right suggests, it turned out very well, although we did have a bit of a struggle getting it out of the tin to cool (that must be why Jamie recommended a loose bottomed tin)! Actually, if you look carefully, you’ll see there’s a slice missing from the picture, although the rugged surface largely disguises that. If challenged by our hosts, we were going to claim it was “bustrengo di apostoli”, made with eleven slices like the eleven marzipan balls on top of an Easter simnal cake (representing the disciples, less Judas Iscariot).

In fact that wasn’t needed, as there was plenty to go round; this is a recipe that I’m definitely keen to cook again. Nice one, Jamie!

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