Resistance is futile.
This is a fabulous, indulgent cake, best served with a big dollop of crème fraiche. It’s a perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea or coffee but it also holds its own as a delicious pudding after lunch or dinner. The citrus tanginess balances the buttery polenta mixture and I have friends who struggle to resist a second piece, however full they think they are!
So don’t over-think this. Get out your trusty hand whisk and very, very soon you’ll be everyone’s favourite baker.
You’ll need a 9 inch/ 22.5cm round cake tin with a removable base. Put greaseproof paper on the base and butter the sides of the tin well.
230 grams unsalted butter – room temperature
230 grams sugar
230 grams ground almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 lemons – zest and juice
2 limes – zest and juice
120 grams polenta
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1 lemon – thinly sliced into rounds for decoration + a pinch of sugar to sprinkle over them
A little icing sugar – to dust over cake before serving
creme fraiche – you can serve this with whipped cream – it works. I prefer the barely detectable sour quality to crème fraiche though. It is the perfect companion to balance the richness of the polenta cake. A match surely made in heaven’s kitchen.
[Tip: in Greece you may struggle to find crème fraiche – so just add some Greek yoghurt to your whipped cream. Keep tasting. You’ll get there…]
Preheat your oven to 160’c
Use a hand-held electric whisk – far too much kerfuffle involved in getting out your all-singing, all-dancing mixer – and cream the butter and sugar in a large kitchen bowl until it’s light (in colour and consistency).
Whisk in the ground almonds. Your mixture will turn a little thick and gloopy.
In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and add them to the mixture.
Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract (or essence – the best quality you can find)
Zest and juice the lemons and limes and pour them into the mixture. Fold everything gently and carefully with a spatula.
Add the baking powder to the polenta and fold this in as well. The consistency of the cake mixture should be thick but pourable (with a little spatula help).
Pour mixture into your cake tin. Even out the top with a spatula and place the lemon slices around the edge to create a pattern of your choosing. (You could go mad and use lemon AND lime slices).
Sprinkle a little sugar over the lemon slices – not the rest of the cake.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes – I tend to check it at 30 minutes. The cake will have risen a bit and should be nicely brown. The lemon slices will have slightly caramelled.
Once cooked leave it to cool before removing it onto your serving plate…or in this case, a slab of slate. Doesn’t it look great?
Dust it with icing sugar and serve it with crème fraiche.
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We tried the soup and the lime &polenta cake :):)
Both Delicious !!!
Thank you so much for your kind comments. So glad you enjoyed them 🙂
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