1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups almond meal/flour
3/4 cup fine polenta/cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (gluten-free if required)
Zest 2 lemons (save the juice for the syrup)
Juice 2 lemons (see above)
Heaping 1 cup confectioners' sugar
Special Equipment: 1 (9-inch) springform pan
For the cake: Line the base of your cake pan with parchment paper and grease its sides lightly with butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat the butter and sugar till pale and whipped, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, or using a freestanding mixer.
Mix together the almond meal, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while.
Finally, beat in the lemon zest and pour, spoon or scrape the mixture into your prepared pan and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. It may seem wibbly but, if the cake is cooked, a cake tester should come out cleanish and, most significantly, the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its pan.
For the syrup: Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar in a smallish saucepan. Once the confectioners' sugar has dissolved into the juice, you're done. Prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester (a skewer would be too destructive), pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its pan.
Make Ahead Note: The cake can be baked up to 3 days ahead and stored in airtight container in a cool place. Will keep for total of 5 to 6 days.
Freeze Note: The cake can be frozen on its lining paper as soon as cooled, wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil, for up to 1 month. Thaw for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.
I decided to make mini cakes and used my favorite fluted silicone pans...and they were delicious except I probably should have purchased finely ground Polenta--so they came out a little gritty, but buttery and lemony!
It's a perfect little bite to have with tea or a cappuccino!