Nigella’s lemon polenta cake recipe is courtesy of Tabitha’s Gluten Free Dishes. (Tabitha started her blog to show how enjoyable and simple gluten free food is.)
To quote Nigella re the lemon polenta cake >> “The flavoursome grittiness of the polenta and tender rubble of ground almonds provide so much better a foil for the wholly desirable dampness than does the usual flour. The lemon highlights the eggy butteriness of the cake, making it rich and sharp at the same time. If you were to try to imagine what lemon curd would taste like in cake form, this would be it.” You know what? She’s not wrong. This cake is scrumptious!
For the cake
200g soft unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing)
200g caster sugar
200g ground almonds (or almond meal)
100 grams fine polenta (or cornmeal)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (gluten free)
3 large eggs
zest of 2 lemons (save juice for syrup)
For the syrup
juice of 2 lemons
125g icing sugar
1) Line the base of a 23cm / 9inch spring-form cake tin with baking paper and grease its sides with butter.
2) Preheat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4/ 350F.
3) Beat the butter and sugar until pale and whipped, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon or using a freestanding mixer.
4) Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg. Then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while.
5) Beat in the lemon zest and pour, spoon or scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
6) It may seem wibbly (whatever that means) but, if the cake is cooked, a cake tester should come out clean and, most significantly, the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack but leave in its tin.
7) Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a smallish saucepan.
8) Once the icing sugar has dissolved into the juice, it’s done.
9) Prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester (a skewer would be too destructive), pour the warm syrup over the cake and leave to cool before taking it out of the tin.
This was such an easy recipe to follow.
The cake is so moist, sweet, sticky and delicious – it saddened me to stop at one slice! The polenta and almond meal gives the cake a bit of texture – different to other flourless cakes. I loved the lemon flavour. I did have another slice the next day (after it had been in the fridge overnight) and omg – it tasted even better. The top and sides were crunchy – nice.
This cake is a great dessert for summer. I may have to make it again as we are going to go through another heatwave. The expected temperature for Saturday is 42C (107.6F) and for Sunday it’s expected to be 43C (109.4F). Hot start for February 2014!
“When life gives you lemons, take it. Don’t waste food.” ~ Giselle Marquez