When I want to be sure of disappointment, I order chocolate cake. When I want to be sure of deliciousness, I order polenta cake. Polenta cake is hands down my most favourite cake ever, and when I woke up one Saturday morning craving it, I knew nothing was going to stop me making and consuming it.
Unfortunately I didn’t plan the process very well and there were a few hiccups along the way. So please, do not do what I did, instead make sure that you check you have all the ingredients before starting. Also, when you discover you are missing an ingredient, please do not rush out to the shop to buy the butter and then return home to see that you are also missing the next ingredient on the list (the baking powder).
Turns out I also didn’t have a circular cake tin to bake either so I used a loaf tin – it all turned out fine though. In any case, I definitely enjoyed having a massive door stop wedge of cake rather than a triangular slice.
I based my recipe on Nigella Lawson’s recipe but improvised a tiny bit with what was to hand.
180g unsalted butter
200g soft brown sugar
200g ground almonds
1.5 tsp baking powder
Zest of two lemons
Juice of one lemon
Set your oven to around 180c and beat together the butter and sugar. There is quite a lot of beating involved in this recipe so I recommend you take regular breaks with a sip of lemoncello.
Once your buttery-sugary mixture has gone pale and soft, leave it alone and then mix all your other ingredients (minus the eggs) in a separate bowl. Then you need to alternate adding this mixture to the butter mixture followed by an egg. So 1/3rd polenta goes in, mix it up, in goes one egg, mix it up etc.
Now you want to dollop your mixture into your tin of choice (whichever shape you like best) which has been greased very well. Then place it in the oven for about 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Nigella follows on with a lemon syrup to drizzle over the cake once it’s cooked, but turns out I also didn’t have any of icing sugar required. So the cake was consumed in all its naked glory and I didn’t even notice it was missing.