So with the unveiling of our newly renovated home and also of this blog, what better way to celebrate than to eat cake?! This is also for all the new-comers to Friendly Cottage too - we hope you come back to visit again. Here's my recipe for a delicious lemon polenta cake. I like to serve it drizzled with a lemon and rose syrup and scattered with sugared rose petals....because I'm a lay-dy!
LEMON POLENTA CAKE WITH A LEMON & ROSE SYRUP
200g butter, softened + extra for greasing
200g caster sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
150g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp rosewater
25g sugared rose petals
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F / Gas Mark 4). Lightly grease a deep 20cm round tin with butter.
Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light in colour and creamy. Add the eggs in one by one, mixing well to combine. Add the lemon zest and juice (reserving the lemon shells) and then fold in the ground almonds, polenta and baking powder to give a smooth mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Place on a baking tray and bake for about 1 hour, covering with foil for the last 15 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
Meanwhile, make the lemon and rose syrup. Pop the reserved lemon shells in a small saucepan and pour over 125ml of cold water. Add the sugar and rosewater and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and leave to cool and thicken. Remove and discard the lemon shells.
Leave the cooked cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes before removing and leaving to cool completely. When still warm, pierce all over with a skewer, pushing it in fairly deeply. Drizzle half of the syrup over slowly, allowing it to seep into the cake.
Once the cake is ready to serve, scatter the sugared rose petals over the top. Cut the cake into wedges and arrange on plates. Drizzle some of the remaining syrup over and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche.
Sugared rose petals can be bought in jars in some supermarkets or speciality shops. Alternatively, you can make your own by dipping fresh rose petals in lightly beaten egg white and then caster sugar to stick. Leave them to dry out a little on a cooling rack before using to decorate.