Elderflower, Lemon & Polenta Cake with Pistachios
This Italian classic is perfect to make at this time of year. The elderflowers add a lovely floral contrast to the tender, nutty sponge, while the yoghurt-based icing is super-simple and delightfully creamy. The cake lasts well for a day or two. 250g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
100g ground almonds
150g pistachios, roughly chopped
3 large eggs
200g fine polenta
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons thick unsweetened Greek-style
1 juicy lemon, juiced 1 lemon, juice and finely grated zest 2-3 tablespoons liquid honey 150ml elderflower cordial 3 tablespoons icing sugar
200g thick unsweetened Greek-style yoghurt 2 tablespoons Elderflower Lemon Syrup (see
40g pistachios, chopped
Edible flowers, eg elderflowers or roses
Heat oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm round cake tin.
Using an electric mixer (a stand mixer is best), cream caster sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy. Add ground almonds and pistachios, mix briefly then beat in eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add polenta, baking powder, yoghurt and lemon juice and fold to combine.
Scrape mixture into prepared tin and bake 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
While cake is cooking, make the syrup. Place all the ingredients in a small pot and bring to the boil over medium heat. Simmer 5 minutes then take off heat. Set aside 2 tablespoons syrup for the icing.
Once cake is cooked, take from oven and make a few holes in the top in several places using a skewer or sharp knife. Pour over remaining lemon syrup. Allow cake to cool a little before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
To make icing, whisk icing sugar and yoghurt into reserved syrup. Spread over the cooled cake and top with chopped pistachios and edible flowers. Makes a 20cm cake