Lemon Polenta Cake with Vanilla Strawberries

cook 30 mins
  • 75 g (3 oz) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 150 g (5 oz) caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 75 g (3 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 25 g (1 oz) ground almonds
  • 25 g (1 oz) polenta (cornmeal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 75 g (3 oz) strawberries, hulled and halved
  • Grease a 15 cm (6 inch) sandwich cake tin and line the base with baking paper. In a bowl, beat together the butter, 75 g (3 oz) of the sugar, the egg, ricotta, ground almonds, polenta, baking powder and lemon rind using a hand-held electric whisk until smooth.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake in a preheated oven, 190°C (375°F), Gas Mark 5, for 20 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.
  • Meanwhile, place the remaining sugar in a saucepan with the measurement water and heat, stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 3 minutes until syrupy. Cool slightly, then stir in the vanilla bean paste or extract.
  • Remove the cake from the tin and cut into wedges (any extra cake can be frozen). Mix the strawberries with the vanilla syrup and spoon over the cake to serve. [2 wedges for this recipe?]
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