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!
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.