Lemon & polenta cake
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.