Ouch – it’s been a long old time since I have written anything here. Neglected – yes – that is for sure, ‘lardersaga’ has been rather dormant, my apologies. Somehow the summer whizzed by and already we are half way through September. Appetites have changed and comfort food is creeping onto the menu. Long gone are the hazy days of summer and autumn is most certainly here. Conkers, falling leaves, hearty soups and much more. My kitchen has created the whole spectrum from venison hotpots to autumn salads, all sorts works at this time of year it just depends what each day throws at us – rain, sun, wind! To get the ball rolling again, I am harking back to one of my favorite recipes that I cooked in a rather large quantity this summer; a classic, gluten-free (don’t look at the butter and sugar content !) ‘Lemon Polenta Cake’, from the time-honored bible of a recipe book, ‘The River Cafe’.
I don’t have a sweet tooth – at least not in the way the pink one does. However, confronted with a slice of ‘Lemon Polenta Cake’ I find it near impossible to resist its buttery crumb and lemony zing. It’s easy to make, versatile, can be used for tea or pudding and keeps for several days. Serve with lashings of creme fraiche, greek yogurt or mascarpone and a few seasonal berries, it is ‘YUMMY’, in the words of my daughter. Ideal for those of us who are intolerant of gluten but fancy an indulgent, slightly naughty cake!
The River Cafe’s Lemon Polenta Cake
250g caster sugar
Grated zest of 2 organic lemons
250g ground almonds
1tsp vanilla extract
3 organic eggs, beaten
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Heat the oven to 160c/ gas 5
Butter and line a 24cm loose bottomed cake tin.
Beat the butter, sugar, lemon zest and salt until white and fluffy.
Stir in the almonds and vanilla and now add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
Fold in the polenta, lemon juice and baking powder.
Spoon the cake mix into the tin and bake for between 40 and 50 minutes till the sides of the cake have shrunk back and the top is golden.
Lemon sugar syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
75 gm caster sugar
Pop the juice and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently till the sugar dissolves completely.
Glaze the cake with a lemony / sugar syrup using a pastry brush.
This shot was taken at the festival I cooked at in May. We made the cake for 220 people and it was sublime. We doubled the recipe and cooked the cakes in large rectangle baking tins. Every batch was very slightly different, some slightly more gooey, buttery, almost caramel like – not one was the same but all were delicious.