If ever there was a song that could have been written about me it is the tale of Jackie Jackson. I suffer under the luxury of being surrounded by tasty cakes and tarts at Gill Orde In Catering. Between the cooks here, there are some calorific bombs that your taste buds will seriously thank you for. Tarte Au Pomme, Border Tart, Apple Malva, Sachertorte, Plum & Almond Tart, Coffee & Walnut cupcakes, Fairy cakes, Chocolate sponge… the list goes on! I have a particularly soft spot for Lemon Polenta Cake though, if only because I can kid myself it’s somehow “healthy” because it is suitable for gluten free diets, at least it is the way I make it.
If truth be told I was reminded of this cake and thus decided to make this post, by one of our followers on twitter ( @cassandracake ) who I was having a brief chat with about our favorite cakes. Not the most masculine discussion I’ve ever had but then this blog is something of a testament to my homely kitchen heritage. So, “let them eat cake” as the misquoted epithet goes:
Lemon & Almond Polenta Cake
250g softened butter
250g caster sugar
250g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
2 lemons (2 zested, 1 juiced)
1 Orange, zested
This cake is very very simple to make and it’s one I literally chuck together. Add all your ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk it all together. You can lovingly meld the butter and sugar together and fold in the beaten eggs whilst marrying the remaining ingredients attentively but I have produced this dish under pressure and in a hurry so many times that I can say as long as you taste your mixture and have a good pallet you should be able to balance the lemon and orange so that the lemony flavour has a nice rounded edge. You will want to turn the mixture into a 23cm greased/buttered springform tin and loosely cover it with foil before placing it in a fan oven at 160˚C for 30mins. After 30 minutes check the cake has risen and remove the foil, let it bake for a further 20 – 30 minutes.
Top Tip – grease the foil you use as a flash guard in order to stop it sticking to the top of your cake.
Serve with vanilla poached apricots (as Dennis Cotter in his excellent Paradiso Seasons suggests) or try my raspberry ice-cream alongside, especially if the cake is still warm from the oven. I’ll also dust the top with icing sugar but that’s an aesthetic option down to the baker.