WCC#17: Lemon Polenta CakeJune 7, 2007 at 4:58 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, events, simple cakes, sweet things | 48 Comments
For me, Foodie Chickie Ani couldn’t have come up with a more timely theme for the latest Weekend Cookbook Challenge. After taking that cooking class with Rachel Grisewood a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been sampling more of Manna From Heaven’s products when I see them about town. One of Manna’s most popular little treats is a little, iced lemon polenta cake. Manna’s website has a great picture and describes them as “gluten free cakes made with polenta, coconut and ground almonds.” When I saw that Ani had chosen “cornmeal” for the throwdown, I knew instantly that I wanted to try to make these little guys at home.
I scoured some of my baking books for a recipe I could adapt, but had no luck on my bookshelf. So I decided to use the internet as my cookbook (hopefully this is within the Challenge rules!), and found something that sounded pretty spot on. Using almond meal and cornmeal instead of flour, this recipe also has lots of coconut, lemon zest and juice in the batter.
Rather than bake one large cake, as instructed in the recipe, I made individual ones using my friand tin (with a shorter cooking time, of course). I made half a recipe and got nine friands. Also, I heated up the lemon glaze, which is really a syrup that gets poured over the warm cakes before icing, in order to disolve the sugar in the juice.
My cakes came out great– a very good knock-off! They were moist and tasty, and the shreds of coconut gave them a little chew. Suggestions for next time…maybe I’d add in just a drop of almond extract.
Lemon Polenta Cake– makes eight servings
modified from a recipe by Roger Bayley
For the cake:
130 g ground almonds (or almond flour)
130 g shredded coconut
130 g fine polenta (or yellow cornmeal)
1 t baking powder
grated rind of 3 lemons
270 g soft butter
270 g caster sugar
4 eggs (55 g each)
juice of 2 lemons
For the lemon glaze:
juice of 2 lemons
sugar to taste
For the lemon icing:
250 g icing sugar
juice of ½ lemon, approximately
-Combine ground almonds, coconut, polenta, baking powder and lemon rind, and set aside. Using electric mixer beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
-Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Fold in dry ingredients and lemon juice until just combined. Pour mix into greased and lined 9-inch/24-centimeter round cake tin (not springform) and bake at 325°F/160°C for one hour or until golden and just coming away from the side of the tin.
-Meanwhile, make the lemon glaze by heating the lemon juice and sugar gently, until the sugar is just dissolved.
-Remove from the oven and cool in the tin. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen. Pour on lemon glaze while cake is still warm.
-Allow to cool completely in tin before turning on to a plate, as the cake falls apart easily while warm.
-Spread the lemon icing over the cake when cooled completely. (You can make the icing more like a loose glaze by slightly reducing the amount of icing sugar.)