When I go to grocery shopping, I come back with way too many things to eat every time. Does it happen to you as well? That was the case for this lemon polenta cake & elderflower white chocolate ganache, for which I foraged a whole big bag of fresh elderflowers. So many that I actually didn’t know what to do with anymore. I finally made a few bottles of elderflower syrup that I’ll probably use in several recipes later, but as I’m not a huge syrup drinker – mostly because it’s way too sweet -, I need to look for some other ways to use the elderflowers – even though I didn’t buy them, food waste is definitely not one of my habits! -. I finally infused them in some single cream that I incorporated to the white chocolate later to make the ganache. The result was pleasantly perfumed.
When I started to work as a freelancer, it was quite weird for me to get used to the « freedom » part that this statut involves. When starting to work full-time for a permanent client, I wasn’t indeed as flexible as if I would had been while working on different missions every week, but I couldn’t avoid to feel guilty every time I was taking a break, when I was adapting my schedule to my projects, or when I decided to disconnect for a few hours. Besides the incalculable internships that they offer, one of Berlin startups’ characteristics is their tendency to hire freelancers while expecting them to work like real employees with a fixed salary base and being able to underpay and exploit them as much as they want. The exorbitant insurance cost is of course the freelancer’s responsibility. Poor little startups don’t have the money for that kind of concerns, you know.. nor for paying an office to their employees, actually. In return, they also expect the freelancers who fell into the trap to forget about benefits, meaning flexibility, freedom or the right to say fuck off when the situation starts to turn way too gross.
It’s when I started to want to leave this situation and come back to something more stable that I opened my eyes on the kilos of bullshit that startups are selling to us, always challenging their creativity to fuck up a bit more their modern slaves – if that kind of topics interests you, feel free to let me know, I have a bunch of them in stock ;) -. In spite of the enthusiasm for startups, what I’ve seen around me since I’ve arrived in Berlin slowly nurtured a deep aversion with regard to them. Despite the freelancer status, for which many people still keep thinking that it’s all about being chill and living the dolce vita, I think I spent the most stressful year of my life. By realising that something was wrong in what people were expecting from me, I stopped to put useless pressure on myself and started to take distance from this situation while trying to enjoy as many advantages as it could enable me to have. Which means taking the breaks I need to take, adapting my schedule and enjoying flexibility, or doing sports in the middle of the day if I need to. It also helped me to get back to a more positive state of mind, being able to focus more on the blog, as well as being more motivated for work at the end.
Then I decided to take my bike that day to wander in Tiergarten and forage all those fresh elderflowers, as well as other flowers for the pictures of this lemon polenta cake with elderflower & white chocolate ganache. It’s when taking time to enjoy the peacefulness and all the nature around me that I also started to appreciate the benefits of freelancer statut, and wondering why I’ve waited so long to finally enjoy them. After a first try, I had to change the proportions in the lemon polenta cake by decreasing the quantity of polenta and adding more almond meal as it the result was a bit too dry, despite the quantities of honey and olive oil. For the elderflower infused cream, try to take off as much green part as you can, so that you won’t have an annoying grassy taste in the mouth. This lemon polenta cake & elderflower white chocolate ganache is perfect with a glass of iced tea!
*Any trace of harshness in this post is formally involuntary
More lemon recipes:
Lime and coconut half-baked cheesecake
- 180g polenta
- 120g almond meal
- 90ml olive oil
- 100g honey
- 3 eggs
- 2 organic lemons (juice + zest)
- 1/2tsp baking soda
- 1/2tsp baking powder
- 1/2tsp salt
- 200g white chocolate
- 10cl single cream
- 10g elderflowers
- A few slices of organic lemon
- Fresh elderflowers
- 1. To infuse the cream: in a small pan, heat single cream until hot. Turn off fire, then add elderflowers into the pan and stir. Cover and let infuse overnight.
- 2. To prepare the polenta cake: in a salad bowl, mix polenta, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add olive oil, juice and zest of the lemons, eggs and honey. Stir well until homogeneous and add to the dry ingredients. Stir well.
- 3. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and flour a 20cm ø cake mould. Pour the batter over, then put in oven for about 30 minutes. When the cake is ready, cool a then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- 4. To prepare the ganache: using a strainer, filter the infused cream in order to remove all the flowers. Heat the cream one more time in a small pan. Turn off fire when hot, then break and add white chocolate in pieces into it and stir until homogeneous. Cool until the ganache is not liquid but rather creamy.
- 5. Pour the ganache on the lemon polenta cake, then add some organic lemon slices onto it as well as fresh elderflowers. Put in fridge for a couple of hours. Serve at room temperature.