Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lemon Polenta Cake

Another of my favourite cooks is Nigella Lawson. What I like the most about her is that she seems so lacking in pretentiousness when it comes to food. She clearly enjoys cooking and eating (as do I), and she isn't afraid to use some ingredients that to a food snob would be a big no-no. As well as that I really like her tv programmes and the one for her new book does not disappoint. I bought her latest book 'Kitchen' ages ago and when I looked at this recipe I thought it looked pretty good and would be something I would try especially as Dons is gluten free. However I put the book away, as you do, and promptly forgot about it especially as I had a glut of new cookbooks to check out. After watching the series on tv I felt motivated (and I was reminded that I had wanted), to try this and other different recipes so I got the book out and assembled all the ingredients and re-looked at the book. I only made a half quantity so made it in an 18 cm tin as I wanted to see if it was as good as it looked. It is a very easy cake to make requiring very little effort for a great flavour. Nigella describes it as like eating lemon curd in a cake form and she is absolutely right. The cake sinks in the middle which is initially a little disconcerting. However her photos show it doing the same thing so this is something that obviously happens with this cake. I think the syrup adds some weight and because the cake get quite moist and syrupy it must condense the cake a bit- especially in the middle. Besides the taste is well worth the look of it and it is amazing how well softly whipped cream can hide a multitude of sins...not to mention add that little extra vah-vah-voom to the cake. Lemon curd would also be nice with this to have on the side if you really like that lemon flavour.

Lemon Plolenta Cake (Nigella Lawson)

200gm soft butter
200 gm caster sugar
200 gm ground almonds
100 gm fine polenta/cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
zest 2 lemons

Oven to 180 C. Line greased tin with baking paper.

Beat butter and sugar until pale and whipped. Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder and beat some into the butter mixture. Add one egg, then alternate eggs and dry ingredients beating all the while.

Beat in zest and spoon into the tin. Bakes about 40 mins. The cake will shrink away from the sides and may seem a bit wibbly but test it anyway and if a cake tester comes out clean it's ready. Remove from the oven but leave in the tin.

Juice of 2 lemons
125 gm icing sugar

Bring the juice and icing sugar to the boil. Once the sugar is dissolved it's done. Prick the top of the cake with a cake tester (or a piece if dried spaghetti as she does on telly) and pour over the warm syrup. Leave to cool.

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