Thursday, 13 June 2013

River cafe polenta, almond and lemon cake

This week has been a bit up and down with the weather, lots of rain and then an absolute scorcher yesterday in the 30˚s. Yesterday was an especially good day because not only did I get a little bit less pasty but I also stood up on my surfboard about 10 times!! I did almost die about twice getting absolutely smashed by waves and ended up with my hair looking a bit like a loo brush but very happy!!

Since the weather has been crappy I made a huge cake, and I think this could be my newest most favourite cake I have ever made. I have been trawling through my River cafe books and there is so much amazing stuff so since I have all kinds of great ingredients on my door step I am going to go nuts and try loads this month.

Serves 12

450g unsalted butter, softened
450g caster sugar
450g ground almonds
2 teaspoons good vanilla essence
6 free range eggs
zest of 4 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
225g polenta flour or fine semolina
1 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Preheat the oven to 160˚C/325˚F/Gas 3. Butter and flour a 30cm (12 in) cake tin.

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and light. Stir in the ground almonds and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the lemon zest and lemon juice, the polenta, baking powder and salt.

Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 mins or until a skewer poked in comes out clean. The cake will have a deep brown colour on top so don't worry if you think its burning unless it's going black then you probably are.


  1. You don't say if you leave the cake to cool in the tin ?

    1. Hi, sorry about that, it's best to leave the cake to cool for 30mins to an hour before turning out. I hope you enjoy it! Flossie

  2. Do you think it would work as well if I make this in a 25 cm loose-base tin? I don't have a 30 cm one, and am reluctant to buy one as i would hardly ever use it.

    1. Yes it will work fine in a smaller tin, just cook it for a bit longer I imagine. Make sure it springs back when you press the top or stick a scewer in. If you don't have a spring bottom line with baking paper and leave it to cool for a good hour before turning it out. Good luck!

  3. This looks like a lovely recipe. If I added a cup or so of raspberries would I want to adjust any of the ingredients?