Polenta Almond Cake
Martha Stewart Living, October 2002
Yield Makes one 8-inch cake
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup whole blanched almonds
- 1/2 cup finely ground polenta
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons melted, for pan
- 1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for pan
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread sliced almonds in a single layer on a small baking sheet. Bake until fragrant and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl; set aside to cool. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, finely grind whole almonds; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, polenta, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Pour melted butter into an 8-by-2-inch round cake pan, swirling to coat bottom and brushing up sides of the pan. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar and toasted sliced almonds; set aside.
- Combine butter and remaining 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Beat in orange juice and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, slowly beating just until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer baking pan to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan, and cool completely.
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