I am delighted to be sharing this lovely recipe for a very lemony almond and polenta cake today from Sophie Thompson’s My Family Kitchen:-
- 150 g polenta
- 150 g ground almonds
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 200 g soft butter plus extra for greasing
- 3 large eggs
- zest & juice of 3 large lemons
- 100 g icing sugar sifted
- 20 g flaked almonds toasted
Preheat the oven to 180C /160C fan/Gas 4. Lightly grease and base line a 20cm springform cake tin.
Place the polenta, ground almonds, caster sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Blitz together for about 30 seconds to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, whizzing after each one to incorporate well. Add the lemon zest and whizz again for about 20 seconds.
Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and smooth over the top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45minutes, or until golden and coming away slightly from the edges of the tin.
Meanwhile mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice (about 100ml) in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. When the cakes comes out of the oven, use a skewer to make holes all over the top of the cake, and while still warm, pour your lemony syrup over the top.
Scatter over the toasted flaked almonds, while the cake is still sticky, and leave to cool in the tin.
Remove from the tin when cold and serve - splendid on its own or with a big dollop of Whim Wham [an orange custard also from the book] on the side,
I made this in a stand mixer rather than a food processor.
As well as being very easy to make the cake is delicious, light and golden, bursting with lemon as well as having a lovely texture from the polenta. Perfect for pudding with cream or creme fraiche, or on its own for elevenses or for tea.
Sophie Thompson, sister to Emma and daughter of Eric (remember the Magic Roundabout?), was the winner of Celebrity Masterchef last year. In spite of her winning Celebrity Masterchef this is not a cheffy book at all, but is packed with accessible family recipes, the sort that have been cooked and eaten again and again, enjoyed and adapted over the years. Sophie’s exuberant personality shines through the pages, and her introductions to the recipes, and the stories behind them and her family history are a delight to read.
What really appeals to me (and also to my mother who enjoyed reading though the book at the weekend) was that the vast majority of the recipes use very ordinary ingredients and herbs and spices that you already have in your cupboard – this is not a book which will leave you with umpteen pots and jars of exotic ingredients that you use once and then never use again.
The recipes are clearly written (my mother also remarked on the bold type for the ingredients and clear print), beautifully photographed with non intimidating, non fussy styling, you feel these dishes will be easy to make look attractive as well as tasting delicious. Recipes to try are some sweet stick spare ribs, classic brown mince served with baked potatoes or rice and salmon and dill fishcakes. For something sweet I love the look of a simple maple syrup and plum cheesecake, salted caramel cookies with white chocolate drizzle or a Bavarian orange pie with a marshmallow topping.
My Family Kitchen is a charming book packed with classic tasty recipes you will want to cook again and again, adapt, share with your friends and family and create your own stories and memories around.
My Family Kitchen by Sophie Thompson is published by Faber and Faber, cover price £22