Polenta Cake with a Saffron & Lemon drizzle – A warm plate of comfort

I am an emotional eater. I eat not to fill my stomach and give nourishment to my body but I eat to offer comfort to my soul and that comfort gives the sustenance to my body which is so much required.  What I eat when I am happy is completely different then what I would eat when I am sad or stressed.  And of late my soul has been craving for a lot of comfort.

1-IMG_4190Even though I do not eat a lot of sweets and generally just avoid Sugar as much as I can, somehow when we think of comfort and food, something sweet is always the way to go and for me that has to be something warm as well. It is odd I know but I love warm desserts, they make me feel wonderful and gooey and fuzzy.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetAnd this amazing Polenta Cake is that happy thing for me. It is deliciously sweet and tastes as good as heaven when eaten warm with some cream. It is a recipe by Nigella Lawson and I have a few of her recipes on my blog. It makes me laugh when I write this because we all know Nigella Lawson is famous for her midnight hunger pangs and as I write this post I am having another Nigella moment with a piece of this cake on my desk, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan crooning away in his heart wrenching voice on my I pod and me writing this post.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetBefore you think I have completely lost my marbles I will go ahead and share the recipe with you. Trust me this is a Cake that you will make often once you have had the first bite.


200 gms soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)

1 cup superfine sugar

2 cups almond meal

¾ cup fine Polenta (or cornmeal)

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

3 large Eggs

Zest of 2 Lemons (save juice for drizzle)

For the Lemon & Saffron Drizzle

Juice of 2 lemons

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

few strands of Saffron

Almond flakes

Line the base of a 23cm / 9inch springform cake tin with baking parchment and grease its sides lightly with butter.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/ 350°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 almonds, 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 tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.

It may seem wobbly but, if the cake is cooked, a cake tester should come out clean and, most significantly, the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its tin.

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 tin.

Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar in a smallish saucepan. Once the confectioners’ sugar’s dissolved into the juice, add the Saffron & Almond flakes and turn off the cake. Drizzle over the cake and serve warm with some Cream or Curd.

Recipe Courtesy : Nigella Lawson

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