Lemon & po­lenta cake

The Mail on Sunday - You - - Food Kirstie Special -

Here’s a won­der­ful cake that could be served for pud­ding or for af­ter­noon tea. The recipe was kindly given to me by Carla of Tea’s Me, my reg­u­lar break­fast haunt. Po­lenta (corn­meal) is an in­ter­est­ing in­gre­di­ent when used in bak­ing. It adds tex­ture and flavour, as do the ground al­monds, with their melt­ing sweet­ness. Since the cake is com­pletely flour­less, it’s great for coeli­acs and oth­ers who can’t tol­er­ate gluten. (You can buy gluten-free bak­ing pow­der as well.) SERVES 200g un­salted but­ter, plus ex­tra for greas­ing 175g caster sugar 200g ground al­monds 150g fine po­lenta 1 tsp vanilla ex­tract 3 large eggs juice and finely grated zest of 2 small le­mons 1 tsp bak­ing pow­der pinch of sea salt ic­ing sugar, for dust­ing

Pre­heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/ gas 5. But­ter a 20cm round spring­form cake tin and line it with bak­ing parch­ment. Place on a bak­ing sheet.

Put the but­ter and the sugar into a bowl and beat to­gether with an elec­tric whisk for 10 min­utes. Grad­u­ally add the al­monds and po­lenta, along with the vanilla, and whisk for an­other 2 min­utes. Add the eggs to the mix­ture and beat un­til fully com­bined. Fi­nally add the lemon juice and zest, bak­ing pow­der and salt. Mix well.

Pour the mix­ture into the pre­pared cake tin and bake for 50 min­utes, or un­til dark golden on top and a skewer in­serted in the cen­tre comes out clean.

Place the tin on a wire rack and leave the cake to cool com­pletely be­fore re­leas­ing it and re­mov­ing the parch­ment.

Dust with ic­ing sugar and serve warm or cold with berries and whipped cream, crème fraîche or Greek yo­ghurt, if wished.

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