This corn and sweet potato bake hails from Norfolk Island, a tiny Australian island in the South Pacific Ocean. Norfolk Island cuisine is very distinct – a blend of English and Tahitian. You can see this in the traditional dishes, which are served alongside more American-style accompaniments.






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Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia, lies 1600km north-east of Sydney in the South Pacific Ocean. Described by Captain Cook as ‘paradise’ upon his arrival in 1774, the island was colonised by the British in 1788, around six weeks after Sydney was colonised. Norfolk later became home to the Pitcairn Islanders in 1856. Largely self-governing since 1979, the island is currently home to a permanent population of around 1800. 


  • 875 ml (3½ cups) milk
  • 3 tsp caraway seeds
  • 170 g (1 cup) instant polenta
  • 200 g sweet potato (kumara), grated
  • 100 g grated cheddar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 1.5 L shallow ovenproof dish and set aside.

Place milk and 1 tsp caraway seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add polenta in a slow, steady stream, whisking for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add 1 tsp salt. Stir in sweet potato and cheddar.

Spoon into prepared dish, smooth surface and scatter with remaining 2 tsp caraway seeds. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and crisp.


Photography Sean Fennessy


As seen in Feast magazine, Dec/Jan 2013, Issue 27.