Sunday, 29 April 2012

Lemon Polenta Cake

I've had a bit of a lazy weekend as far as cooking goes. Yesterday we headed to the seaside for fish and chips, it was way too cold to eat outside, but at least we enjoyed a view of the sea from the cafe. I worked out it was 6 months since we had last had fish and chips, sitting on a beach in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. There is a fantastic fish and chip shop there, you would find it easily because the queue is all the way down the street during their opening times. They are so worth the wait though. Anyway they are not something we have very often, so when we do have them we enjoy them all the more. My lack of kitchen activity led me to make this delicious cake today. A great cake if you need a gluten free dessert. I asked Rachel what she thought of it, "amazing, light, moist, tangy and sweet", were her words. I think she enjoyed it. I overdid it slightly and the top was a bit burnt, so I just served it upside down and sprinkled it with icing sugar. The inside is a wonderful yellow colour, and warm from the oven it's heavenly. This is from Nigella Lawson "Kitchen".

Serves 16 

For the cake:
200g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
200g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
100g fine polenta/cornmeal (I used cornmeal)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder (gluten-free if required)
3 eggs
zest 2 lemons (save the juice for the syrup, below)
for the syrup:
juice 2 lemons
125g icing sugar
1 x 23cm springform or other round cake tin

Line the base of your cake tin with baking parchment and grease its sides lightly with butter.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Beat the butter and sugar till pale and whipped, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, or using a freestanding mixer.
Mix together the almonds, polenta or cornmeal 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.
Finally, beat in the lemon zest and pour, spoon or scrape the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
It may seem wibbly but, if the cake is cooked, a cake tester should come out cleanish 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.
Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a smallish saucepan.
Once the icing sugar’s dissolved into the juice, you’re done.
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 its tin.


  1. Mmm, I LOVE moist and tangy

  2. Brilliant easy cake to make, and it tastes so yummy!!!!!!