I made a Homer Simpson cake.
Its sunny yellow exterior conceals comically large quantities of butter and sugar. If Dr Nick from the Simpsons states “rub it on a piece of paper, if the paper turns clear, it’s your window to weight gain!’, then I prescribe this fabulous cake in very small but oh-so satisfying slices.
This is a dense, wet cake that makes a moist squidgey-squidge noise when your knife glides through. The secret lies in the use of almond meal and polenta virtually soaked in butter, then held together with lemon juice, zest and egg.
If you can’t find a veritable army to feed this cake to, you’ll be pleased to know that it stores extremely well at room temperature for at least one week. In fact, it gets better with each day as the polenta continues to soften.
The tangy lemon adds a perfect balance to the buttery richness. It’s very much like a textured version of a lemon tart, which gets my tick of approval, and quite possibly Homer Simpson’s too.
LEMON POLENTA CAKE
Source: Frankie Afternoon Tea
YOU WILL NEED
500g Unsalted Butter, softened
500g Caster Sugar
Zest and Juice of 3 Lemons
6 Large Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
500g Almond Meal
300g Polenta/cornmeal, good quality
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius.
Grease a 25cm springform pan and line the bottom with baking paper.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until thick and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, mixing until all combined. Give the bowl a sharp tap to remove any air bubbles.
Smooth the batter into the pan and bake for one hour, then drop the temperature of the oven to 160c and bake for a further 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the cake: the top will start to brown before the cake is completely cooked, so have aluminium foil ready to cover the top.
It’s very important to bake the cake for a long time at low temperature: if the cake is removed too early, the polenta might not have softened and you will get a slightly gritty texture to your cake. If this does happen, it’s not the end of the world, as after a day the moisture in the cake will help soften any remaining cornmeal.
Cake will keep at room temperature for up to one week, and gets better the day or two after baking.