Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lemon Polenta Cake

This weekend is the start of the Olympics in London.  I managed to get tickets to table tennis.  My husband wasn't really ecstatic to watch with me, so my friend, Jen, said she would love to go. Also her husband, Ben, said he would do dinner for us. Since they were providing the main meal, I thought I would bring dessert. Jen & Ben are both allergic to gluten. Luckily I had another recipe that I wanted to try from Nigella, her lemon polenta cake.

I was wondering what to top the cake with because it seemed a bit plain.  Luckily, Jen had some extra strawberries so we added those on top of the cake.  It turned out very moist from the lemon drizzle you pour on top when it's done. Definitely a recipe I will try again whether you are allergic to gluten or not.

  • for the cake:
  • 200g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 100g fine polenta/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


  1. Line the base of your cake tin with baking parchment and grease its sides lightly with butter.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar till 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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a smallish saucepan.
  8. Once the icing sugar’s dissolved into the juice, you’re 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 its tin.

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