Polenta has plenty of potential in baking
Lemon polenta cake
USED in cakes, polenta creates a wonderful dense texture and is perfect for people on a wheat-free diet. This recipe makes quite a large cake which keeps beautifully for several days. INGREDIENTS: ◗ 450g butter, softened ◗ 450g sugar ◗ 6 large eggs ◗ zest and juice of 3 lemons ◗ zest and juice of 1 orange ◗ 2 tsp vanilla extract ◗ 450g ground almonds ◗ 300g instant yellow polenta ◗ 2 tsp baking powder ◗ icing sugar, to serve ◗ mascarpone, to serve
METHOD: Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter a 26cm non-stick springform tin.
Using electric beaters, beat the butter, sugar and zests of lemon and orange together until thick and pale. With the motor running, add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
Fold in the lemon juice, orange juice, vanilla extract, ground almonds, polenta and baking powder. Mix thoroughly so all the ingredients are combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin, tapping gently to make sure there are no air bubbles.
Bake for 40 minutes, then reduce the heat to 150C and bake for a further 20-30 minutes. If necessary, cover the cake with foil if it is beginning to brown too quickly.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. When cold, remove from the tin.
To serve, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of mascarpone mixed with some lemon zest or lemon gelato.
VARIATION: To make baby polenta cakes, halve the recipe and bake in lined muffin cups for 25 minutes, then 15 minutes at the reduced temperature.
T R Y S E R V I N V G C A K E WA R M W I T H ICE CREAM FOR A DELICIOUS DESSERT