I had a packet of dried polenta sitting in the cupboard doing nothing. It’s not something I really cook with to be honest. I think I was going to cook a ragu type casserole to serve with it back in January or February and we ended up with something different.
I read somewhere that polenta is great for making gluten free cakes and goes perfectly with ground almonds. I love making gluten free cakes but it is great to try alternatives to the gluten free flour you can find out there. Hence the Lemon Polenta Cake. I had a few lemons which needed using up so this was a perfect way to add them into this simple, but scrumptious cake.
Please don’t be put off by this cake’s appearance. As cakes go, it is plain and boring to look at but appearances are deceptive. It also doesn’t rise very high or look that appealing. But I assure you as soon as you take a bite of this zesty treat, you will not be disappointed.
Here’s how to make the simple, yet delicious Lemon Polenta cake.
- Serves 8
- About 30 mins preparation time.
- 45-50 minutes baking time.
- Suitable for freezing (if it lasts that long!
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar (175g for the cake, 25g for the lemon sugar syrup)
- 3 large eggs
- 75g dried polenta
- 175g ground almonds
- 2 lemons (zest and juice needed)
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- You will need a 22cm (9″) diameter round springform cake tin which has been greased and and the base lined with a baking parchment circle.
- Preheat your oven to 150oC fan (160oC conventional/ 235oF or Gas 3). I baked my cake in a fan oven.
- Cream the butter and 175g of the caster sugar. Keep back 25g of it to make a sugar syrup later on.
- Add the eggs, one by one and whisk carefully after each addition.
- Fold in the polenta and almonds using a large metal spoon.
- Fold in the zest of the two lemons and the baking powder.
- Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin. Smooth the surface of the cake to make it level.
- Bake the cake for approx 45-50 minutes. As mentioned before, it doesn’t rise much but it will spring back when it’s done.
- Leave the cake to cool down in the tin for about 10 minutes or so.
- While the cake is cooling, you can make a syrup to drizzle on top of the cake. Put the juice from the two lemons you have already used the zest from in a saucepan, along with the remaining 25g of caster sugar. Heat this up on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Turn the cake out onto a cake rack and prick holes in the top of the cake. Gently spoon the lemon sugar syrup onto the top of the cake so it pours down the holes and soaks into the sponge.
- Serve the cake on its own or with ice cream, cream or creme fraiche. We enjoyed it with whipped cream and it was heavenly.
If you don’t fancy making this cake with lemons, then I think that it would work well making it with other citrus fruit such as oranges or limes.
Love Sam xx