A summer of food, food, food…..

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 butter

250g caster sugar

Grated zest of 2 organic lemons

250g ground almonds

1tsp vanilla extract

3 organic eggs, beaten

juice of 1 lemon

125g polenta

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.

4th party crete 271

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.

About lardersaga

Joanna Preston is mother of the 'little people', 1 pink and 1 blue, and wife to saintly Mr.Patience! After a decade dedicated to cooking for others (Alps, Africa and founding 'Sugar & Spice') my attention is now solely in the home kitchen. We are a food obsessed family that adore growing, sourcing and cooking delectable feasts for friends and family!
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