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Lemon Polenta Cake

Fresh lemon juice gives this fluffy polenta cake from Nigella Lawson's "Nigella Kitchen" cookbook its light, tangy flavor. Photo credit: Lis Parsons

  • yield: Makes one 9-inch cake

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 cups almond meal or flour
  • 3/4 cup fine polenta or cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 heaping cup confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the base of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and butter sides; set aside.

  2. Step 2

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and superfine sugar until pale and fluffy.

  3. Step 3

    In a medium bowl, mix together almond meal, polenta, and baking powder. Add some of the almond meal mixture to the bowl with the butter mixture and beat to combine. Add one egg and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, continue alternating adding remaining almond meal mixture and 2 eggs; mix until well combined. Add lemon zest and mix just to combine.

  4. Step 4

    Pour batter into prepared pan and transfer to oven; bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs and cake begins to pull away from sides of the pan, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  5. Step 5

    Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, mix together lemon juice and confectioners' sugar; place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved; remove syrup from heat.

  6. Step 6

    Using a cake tester, prick holes all over the top of the cake; pour warm syrup over cake and let cool completely. Remove from pan and serve.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, November 2010

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Reviews (5)

  • 3 May, 2014

    Added a little salt (1/4t) and it was perfect. Served with raspberries and a little whipped cream…my guests devoured it.

  • 4 Feb, 2011

    II made this cake using ground almonds as Nigella says in the video for this recipe, and it turned out gritty and TERRIBLE! We threw it out! The lemon flavor had great potential but the texture was horrible!

  • 23 Jan, 2011

    I made this last night for a dinner party and it turned out just as described and looked exactly like the cake in the video. I followed the directions and my cake was moist and absorbed the syrup right up. I also used Bob's Red Mill almond flour and I substituted with Meyer's lemons. It was a hit with the guests. I served some blackberries on the side too, yum!

  • 24 Dec, 2010

    I made this receipe as well. The batter was so dry it would not pour. I added almost a cup of water and the results are fine.

  • 23 Nov, 2010

    I had planned to serve this for TGiving... thank heavens I tried it first. It was very disappointing. Martha described it as "custardy" on the show. NO. The basic cake was like dry, coarse cornbread in texture, and the almond flour (I used Bob's Redmill) did not absorb the syrup, making it somehow simultaneously dry, crumbly and soggy with syrup puddles. Where was the salt? Not even salted butter to help balance the excess sugar.