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Dessert Buffet: Almond Polenta Pound Cake

  • yield: Makes one 8-by-4-inch loaf




  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for pan
  • 1/3 cup almond paste
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1/2 cup coarse cornmeal (polenta)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lower third. Butter an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cut almond paste into 2/3 cup sugar with two forks until it resembles coarse meal. Add the butter; using the paddle attachment, beat until soft and light, about 4 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    In a medium bowl, whisk together extracts, cream, and egg yolks. With mixer on medium, gradually add cream mixture to butter mixture. In a small bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Sift half the flour mixture over butter mixture, and fold to combine. Fold in remaining flour mixture.

  3. Step 3

    In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar on medium speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold into batter.

  4. Step 4

    Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. If top begins to brown too much, cover loosely with foil. Let cool before serving.

Martha Stewart Living, February 2003