This is a cake of pure loveliness.
Eating this is like being snogged by a jar of lemon curd. Ha. How lovely would that be?
This cake is made with a mixture of ground almonds and polenta which gives it a totally different texture to a standard run of the mill cake, it’s much more crumbly. But once you’ve cooked it, you drench it in a gorgeous sweet lemon syrup which transforms the texture and gives it a really great flavour. It’s also suitable for all those gluten free bears out there, which gives it another thumbs up.
My only point I would say, is this probably isn’t a cake you want to bake for a birthday or some such event and present to the person of the hour on a plate for all to see. I’m not being rude, but once you take this cake out of the oven he gets a bit depressed. We can all sympathise with that feeling when you see the last sun of the year. He sinks a little in the middle. Having said that, he looks beautiful when cut into slices and served with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of raspberries.
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g ground almonds
- 100g fine polenta (or cornmeal)
- 3 eggs
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- zest of 2 lemons, (save the juice for the syrup)
- juice of 2 lemons
- 125g icing sugar
- First preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4/350 F.
- Line a 9 inch/23 cm cake tin with baking parchment and smear the sides of the tin with butter too. I normally use an old butter wrapper to do this, although clean fingers tend to work equally well for squishing the butter into the tin.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. I always do this in a freestanding mixer, although you could definitely do this in a bowl with a wooden spoon, just be sure to give it some welly. Get those bingo wings moving!
- Add the eggs and beat well to incorporate
- Add the almonds, polenta and baking powder and mix again to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Add the lemon zest and stir.
- Scoop the mixture into your prepared tin and pop in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes.
- The cake is done when the edges look like they are coming away from the edge of the tin and a cake tester comes out clean-ish. Don't worry if the cake has a slight wobble when you take him out of the oven, he will be a little jiggly - like a lot of us are at this time of year after Christmas has taken it's toll. He shouldn't be raw jiggly though, just pleasantly wibbly.
- Remove from the oven and leave him in his tin sitting on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, mix the lemon juice with icing sugar. Once the cake it out of the oven, poke him all over with a cocktail stick and then drench him in the lemon syrup and leave to cool completely before cutting into slices and devouring.
- Slice the cake and serve with creme fraiche and a bowl of raspberries.
Take a bite and float away on a lemon scented cloud.