This is a lovely, moist and fluffy cake. It has a subtle citrus flavour, depending on whether the lemon or orange is used. This cake is also gluten free. To source either finely ground polenta, which sometimes can be called Maize flour (not to be confused with corn flour which it has a completely different texture) or instant polenta, usually can be found from good Italian or Continental Delicatessens if your supermarket doesn’t stock them. Most supermarkets will stock Polenta or Cornmeal (they are the same product!) but grain of the regular variety is coarse – the use of regular Polenta in this cake recipe will produce a very gritty texture.
200g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
250g white sugar
160g almond meal
160g finely ground polenta (Maize flour) or instant polenta
grated rind of 2 lemons or oranges
Preheat the oven at 180ºC . Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together, until the mixture looks pale and fluffy. Then, add eggs one at a time, beating very well after each addition.
Using a large metal spoon, fold in the almond meal, polenta and grated lemon or orange rinds.
Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown on top and when tested with a fine skewer inserted in the centre that comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack to cool further.
If desired, top the cake with an icing made of about 100g of pure icing sugar and enough juice of either lemon or orange to combine to produce a smooth and thin glaze. Or, dust with icing sugar.