My flatmate Laura once made this recipe once for her mother who not only is gluten-intolerant but dairy-intolerant as well (she used dairy free butter). Since then, it’s been the go-to baked good in their house, and she was happy to share the recipe. The polenta means it has a slightly grainy texture, but this cake is nearly fail-safe to make, as even if it’s slightly over-baked, the syrup ensures it’s always deliciously moist.
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
What you’ll need
For the cake
210g caster sugar
1 tsp almond extract
125g ground almonds
150g ground polenta
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
For the syrup
100g golden caster sugar
icing sugar to dust
To begin, turn your oven to 180ºC/350ºF and grease and line a 9-inch/20cm baking tin. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until you have a light and fluffy mixture. Add your eggs and almond extract, once again beating until smooth.
Next, add the ground almonds and polenta, then sprinkle the baking powder over top. Mix again and finish off by adding your orange juice and zest.
Bake for 25 minutes at 180ºC/350ºF, then decrease the heat 160ºC/3200ºF and bake for a further 30 minutes.
While the cake is baking, combine the juice and zest of your lemon and orange with the caster sugar and water. Heat in a saucepan until boiling and simmer until the cake is finished baking.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Using a toothpick or skewer, poke holes evenly throughout the cake. Pour the syrup over top of the cake and leave to cool in the pan.
Once cool, dust with icing sugar and enjoy alongside a cup of tea.