Lemon, polenta and almond gluten-free cake

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

For the cake
200g soft unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
100g fine polenta
1½ teaspoons baking powder (gluten free)
3 large free range eggs
Zest of 2 lemons (save juice for syrup)

For the syrup
Juice of 2 lemons
125g icing sugar

Featured in:
May 2015

There once was a time when the thought of catering for a vegetarian would send shivers down the spine of even the hardiest home cook.

Now that vegetarianism has entered a golden age, it seems that the big dread is ‘gluten-free’.

I think, for many people, reducing gluten intake has become something of a norm, regardless of any actual diagnosed condition such as coeliac disease. Quite a few of my friends have sworn that a reduction in the amount of flour and yeast has revolutionised their guts.

I know that if I am feeling particularly sluggish or in the mood for a little weight loss, a bread reduction is on the cards. The only issue has been how to make delicious food that everyone can enjoy whilst still being gluten-free.

This recipe is in fact my mum’s Passover recipe and so naturally contains no flour or raising agents. Not only is it one of the most glorious lemon cakes you’ll ever eat but it also happens to be a breeze to make and delightfully gluten-free.

Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking parchment and pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale.

Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg. Then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while.

Finally, beat in the lemon zest and scrape the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.

The cake is cooked if a cake tester comes out cleanish and the edges of the cake begin to shrink away from the sides of the tin.

Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its tin.

Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a smallish saucepan.

Prick the top of the cake all over with a skewer and pour the warm syrup over the cake. Leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.

Eat and of course, enjoy!

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