Dessert Buffet: Almond Polenta Pound Cake
- Yield: Makes one 8-by-4-inch loaf
Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2003
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.