I was actually considering calling this blog post The Sunshine Cake, because this cake not only looks like a big glowing orb, but it is sunny yellow throughout and tastes of summer time with its mix of fresh lemon and orange.
I adore soft, moist polenta cakes, but haven’t baked one for over a year. This recipe is from Nigella Kitchen, but in the book she does a lemon polenta cake. Whilst I’m sure the plain lemon version is equally delicious, I once had a memorable orange polenta cake in a café that stuck in my mind, so I thought ‘why not marry the two?’
It worked perfectly, all I did was to change the zest of two lemons in the batter to one orange and one lemon, then for the syrup used a mix of orange and lemon juice with slightly less sugar to counter the sweetness of the orange.
It was bursting with the sweet flavour of orange, but retained the sour tang of the lemon. My other half actually said it was the best cake I had ever baked and he would happily eat it every week.
It’s quite a large cake for two people to share so I have frozen half to pull out another day when I need some sunshine in my life.
Please try this cake, you will not be disappointed. It is very easy to make, very delicious, keeps incredibly well, remains moist and soft when kept in an airtight box and will brighten up a dull day.
For the cake:
200g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
200g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
100g fine polenta/cornmeal
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
zest 1 lemon and one Clementine or other small orange
for the syrup:
Juice of one lemon and one Clementine or other small orange
110g icing sugar
1 x 23cm springform or other round cake tin, lined at the bottom with baking paper and greased
Preheat the oven to 180°c/gas mark 4.
1. Beat the butter and sugar till pale and whipped.
2. Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while.
3. Finally, beat in the lemon and orange zest and pour into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
4. A cake tester should come out cleanish and the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its tin.
5. Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon and orange juice and icing sugar in a smallish saucepan.
6. Once the icing sugar’s dissolved into the juice prick the top of the cake all over with a piece of spaghetti, pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.
Have shared this post at: http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/