This recipe for Lemon Polenta Cake is one of my favorite Nigella recipes. She has an awful lot of great recipes to chose from, but this one is very tasty! The cake is simple to make, it is gluten free and most importantly it is really, really tasty. Most recipes I fiddle around with but I leave this one well alone – it is perfect just the way it is 😀. It is a sharp, syrupy cake that crumbles wonderfully when cut in to. I tend to serve Nigella’s Lemon Polenta Cake with Lemon Curd Cream and serve it as a dessert rather than a cake. If using as a dessert you can serve it slightly warm making it even more moist and syrupy. I whip cream (or yogurt) and swirl in some lemon curd to accompany this really special dessert. Alternatively, you can eat this cold as a cake. Whichever way, I think you’ll love it.
To my mind polenta is an odd ingredient but I do agree that its very versatile. It is made of coarse stoneground cornmeal. It has more of a ‘bite’ than Southern grits and it is still eaten widely in Italy. I have eaten it there in a number of different ways, as a side dish with butter, as a substitute to pasta and probably my favorite, as an accompaniment to meat where it was layered with cheese and shaped into a square. I’ve never eaten polenta cake in Italy so I am a little unsure whether this is something that it particularly popular there – I will have to do some research on it when I go there in June and report back!
Anyhow, I hope that you enjoy this recipe of Nigella’s. If you are unable to find a packet of ‘polenta’ in your local store look for ground cornmeal – that should have the same (ish) texture. True southern grits would, in my opinion, be too fine for this particular recipe – but I guess you could always try it 😀 and let me know!