Friday, 3 June 2011

Lemon polenta cake (gluten free)

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It is officially summer people, it is officially summer (imagine me screaming this). We are enjoying highs of 25C all throughout the day and I am glad I can go out in flip flops and shorts. I have also decided to start my swimming sessions next week, something I've been putting off for so long. Well I blame the weather for my lethargy really, I mean who wants to go jump into the water when its 10 degrees outside??? Not me!
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I picked up a packet of cornmeal after craving for some corn bread (reminiscing our Chicago days) a couple of days back. I have never really cooked with cornmeal, and I would have gladly picked up a ready cornmeal muffin mix from Selfridges, if it wasn't 6 bloody pounds. That's a ridiculous amount to pay for a small pouch of ready mix which I decided wouldn't taste half as good as home made. So while searching for the perfect cornbread recipe (the level I was trying to attain was the cornbread from Famous Daves btw!), I came across this in Delicious Magazine. Changed my mind immediately and came up with the most prettiest cake evah!
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This cake is as summery as it can get. It is perfectly moist, lemony and oh so yellow...the epitome of summer if you ask me. The only confusion being...is polenta and cornmeal the same thing?? After posting this question on FB, and some research online, I was able to come to the conclusion that it is. The cake actually turned out to be gluten free and I was damn thrilled about that as well. Serve it with a dab of crème fraiche and its a perfect cake to serve at a BBQ party or a picnic in the park.
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I am not usually a big fan of citrussy desserts or cakes, and so have reduced the lemon content drastically. In spite of that, the cake gave out a subtle lemony flavour which I must say is something I enjoyed. It would have otherwise been too plain a cake. There is also the lemon syrup and mascarpone with lemon curd topping which I almost did but then laziness got the better of me and so the cheese went straight into the freezer. When I am actually throwing a summer party, I'll probably make the whole thing. I am however giving you the recipe for a basic lemon glaze which can be drizzled over.

On another note, you still have time to enter the giveaway. Win 3 recipe books (Soups, Leftover, Desserts), and all you need to do is leave a comment on this post. I shall announce the winner on 5th or 6th June.
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Recipe has been adapted from here
Butter- 160 gms, at room temperature
Caster sugar- 150 gms
Fine cornmeal- 65 gms
Ground almonds- 150 gms
Baking powder- 3/4 tsp (use gluten free if you have it)
Eggs- 2 large, at room temperature
Lemon zest- from one large lemon (add the zest of one more if you want a stronger flavour)
Lemon juice- 1 tsp (or more if you please)
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Cream together the butter and caster sugar till light and fluffy, say about 3 minutes on medium speed.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. It might look a bit curdled, but its fine.
Fold in the almond flour followed by cornmeal and baking powder. The batter would be a bit thick.
Add the lemon zest and juice and mix well to combine. I did this on the lowest speed in my free standing mixer.
Transfer the batter into a greased pan (9 inch round or square pan) and even it out.
Bake in an oven pre heated at 160C for 40 minutes or till a skewer comes out clean.
Place on a cooling rack and once marginally cool, remove from the pan and cool directly on the rack.
Basic lemon glaze
Confectioners sugar- 1 cup
Lemon juice- 1 to 2 tbsp of lemon juice depending on how strong you want it to be

Place the sugar into a mixing bowl and gradually add the lemon juice, whisking continuously till you have a pourable consistency. It shouldn't be too thick. Pour over the cake/ muffin/ bundt.
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Notes: I used a small 7 inch cake pan and 2 mini bundt pans.
The bundt cake cooked in a matter of 30 minutes.
If you want to add flour..reduce the ground almonds to 100 gms and add 50 gms of plain flour.

34 comments:

Magpie said...

Gosh Nisha I soooo love your photographs! I am a corn bread fanatic too! Fill my self up on the bread at most restaurants anyways but if its cornbread my husband knows its best to pass me the basket and keep away!

Torviewtoronto said...

this is deliciously done looks fabulous haven't had cake like this

Rekha shoban said...

wow!!perfect cake....as usually beautiful click!

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Cake looks amazingly tempting and delicious. A great work of art .

Deepa
Hamaree Rasoi

Vimitha Anand said...

Loved the mini ones... Cake looks so inviting and flavorful...

Priti said...

Looks yum ..love anything lemony

Sunanda said...

Cake looks perfect.. your clicks are amazing dear!!

Sunanda's Kitchen

Hari Chandana said...

Very new to me.. looks absolutely perfect and tempting.. lovely clicks !!
Indian Cuisine

Sharmilee! :) said...

Yum cake..looks so soft n yumm

Satrupa said...

Beautiful Bundt Cake ..... love the citrus flavor !! Awesome Clicks !!

Deepti said...

loved the moist cakes....N the awesome clicks

http://panchamrutham.blogspot.com/

Kitchen Flavours said...

Hmmm this was the cake u were talking about in FB....looks yummylicious....

Nithya said...

Extremely cute looking cake :) Your presentation is top class. Makes me want to grab it from the pic :)

Gayathri Ramdas Sreekanth said...

Mini bundt cakes look so cutee !! Lemony..yumm..perfect for the summer! Bookmarked !

Rinku Naveen said...

The clicks are so so beautiful! And the cake looks so moist and yummy..

Ria Mathew said...

It was just last week that I saw Nigella's Lemon Polenta Cake and thought of trying it. I was out of lemons then, so that plan never worked!

Looking at yours I think I should try it sometime. Neat pics!

Prathima Rao said...

Fabulous clicks!!! THis cake is a must try..Is cornmeal same as maize flour used in Indian dishes? I dont seem to find any flours with the label cornmeal here in my town..
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Suja said...

Love citrus flavored cake,this looks beautiful and perfectly done..

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Love the idea that it is gluten free. Never tried it before, looks superb.

schmetterlingwords said...

Lovely cakes they are!! I especially love those in the Bundt pans!! :-)

Priya said...

Those mini bundt cake looks super cute and beautiful, wonderful texture and delicious cake..

Sunitha said...

Good one Nisha. Gluten free too.. that is really nice. Photograpy adipoli

JishasKitchen said...

OMG....the clicks are mind blowing!!...and the cake looks so tempting that I am drooling over here....:)

Sobha Shyam said...

the cake looks awesome..wonderful presentation..:)

Ananda Rajashekar said...

Gluten free wow!! had preconceived notion that gluten free aren't easy! your sounds effortless. I heart citrus cakes, yes these are the prettiest cake and simplicity is the elegance as there and it reflect in ur pic! enjoy ur summer and swim class, both are way too far me ...oh ya love ur chick sugar duster!

Shabs.. said...

Never had a corn bread yet....SO u bought bunt or fluted pan whatever u call it also eh?!!hehe....Loved the shape of that cake much and the pics. For the second last picture, dont u think the lemon slices are a bit too big for the cake?(Look who's talking like a pro). I would halve them, with peel ON and may be put a mint or something in between or may be peel;).U have peeled them..Loved that blue strips:) and other pics too...Ohh the weather is soo good, i was just lying down in the garden Laaaaaaazy!

sinfullyspicy.com said...

Those mini bundts look soo soo cute.I m not big fan of lemony deserts but have to try this recipe with oranges or grapefruit!!

Plateful said...

No doubt the cake's a beauty, but the pictures are even more so beautiful! I'm totally in love with the colors and soft light, ah! Girl, I need some photography lessons from you--no kidding! Enough. This has to stop.. I'm not going to spoil it with more ranting...:)

kitchenmorph said...

wow i love citrus and this is something i'll def try...flagged!

pretty, quaint pics...i love yur photos for their soft neat look!!

is this nuff to lure you into making me the giveaway winner :P

Sarah Naveen said...

Beautiful clicks Nisha!!!
Good luck with the swimming lessons...
Last year I joined , went for 2 classes , and never went back..may b this year I .....

SpicyTasty said...

Looks wonderful. Lovely pictures.

Padhu said...

Wow ! looks fabulous ! Lovely pics as usual.

Sunshine And Smile said...

oh the summer! I have no idea when it's going to get better this side. I want some heat too! These cute little cakes are looking yummy and moist.. you did it :) :)
www.sunshineandsmile.com

Cool Lassi(e) said...

The cake looks divine! And gorgeous pictures! I want a slice! Looks like you got your "baking" grove back!