Lemon polenta cake with mascarpone and lemon curd

  • for lots of people
  • Takes 30 minutes to make, 1¼ hours to cook, plus cooling
A rich, lemony cake that makes a perfect entertaining dessert. Serve at a special occasion or a dinner party.

Nutritional info per serving

Per serving: 906kcals, 66.9g fat (31.7g saturated), 12.8g protein, 65.5g carbs, 49.2g sugar, 0.8g salt

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330g butter, softened, plus extra
for greasing
130g fine polenta, plus extra for dusting
300g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
300g ground almonds
1½ tsp baking powder
4 tsp plain flour
Grated zest of 4 large lemons and juice of 2

(sh) For the syrup
100g caster sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 tbsp limoncello liqueur (from major supermarkets)

(sh) For the icing
250g mascarpone
150ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
4-5 tbsp lemon curd
Handful toasted flaked almonds,
to decorate


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Butter a 23cm springform cake tin, line the base with baking paper, butter again and dust all over with a little polenta. In a bowl, beat the softened butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy, then gradually whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
2. Fold in the polenta, almonds, baking powder and plain flour. Add the lemon zest and juice, and mix well. Spoon into the cake tin and smooth over using a palette knife.
3. Bake for 1¼ hours until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (cover the cake loosely with foil if it starts to colour too much).
4. Meanwhile, make the syrup by heating the sugar, lemon juice and limoncello in a small pan.
5. When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and pierce the top all over with a skewer. Spoon the warm syrup over the warm cake and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
6. Make the icing. Beat together the mascarpone, cream and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth. Place the cake on a serving plate and spread with the icing. Drizzle with the lemon curd, swirling it into the icing with the end of a skewer. Decorate with the toasted almonds.

  • To freeze: make up to the end of step 3. Wrap in cling film, then foil, and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge and continue with the recipe.

From April 2010

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