I have fond memories of being a small child sitting at my aunt’s table and eating warm Polenta Cake. We ate a lot of polenta growing up….sometimes it was creamy polenta with meat sauce, sometimes it was fried polenta and then of course, there was the cake. Richly scented with vanilla and lemon, this cake is truly a satisfying dessert after a comforting dinner. It does not need much garnish, but if you like you can serve it with some vanilla gelato. Eat this cake warm for dessert, or reheat it the next day and have it for breakfast with a good strong cup of coffee.
PS: If you like nuts, try adding 2/3 cup of toasted hazelnuts to the batter.
- 1 Cup cake flour
- 1/3 Cup cornmeal
- ½ Teaspoon baking powder
- Dash salt
- 1 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 Teaspoons vanilla bean paste (available at specialty markets)
- 1 ¼ Cups sugar
- 3 Extra large eggs, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons sour cream, room temperature
- Grated zest and juice of one lemon
Preheat the oven to 325.
Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
In a small bowl, stir the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Place the butter and vanilla bean paste in the bowl of an electric mixer (if you do not have vanilla bean paste, you can scrape out the inside of 2 vanilla beans, but vanilla bean paste is much easier).
With a paddle attachment beat the butter and vanilla until pale and fluffy.
Add the sugar and continue to beat for 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, lemon juice, zest and sour cream and mix again.
Finally, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 45 minutes).
Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto a plate.
Dust with confectionary sugar and curled lemon zest and serve.
The Elegant Occasion Note: This cake is best eaten within 24 hours.