Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lemon cornmeal cake with lemon glaze and the book I'll read next

Lemon cornmeal cake with lemon glaze / Bolo de milho e limão siciliano com glacê de limão siciliano

Thank you for your comments on my issue with “The Great Gatsby” – I feel much better now. :)
I already have something else to read, Somerset Maugham’s "Of Human Bondage", a book suggested by my good friend Cristina – I’ll try to balance it with my cookbooks since I don’t plan on stop cooking and baking.

I started cooking when I was very young and my grandmother and my great-aunt would give me instructions over the phone, which I would carefully and in a very detailed way write down to follow in the kitchen afterwards. If anything, anything at all turned out differently from the ladies’ information I would call them immediately so they could help me solve the problem. I can’t tell you how many days were spent that way – those women are somehow responsible for all the treats you guys see here on this blog. They were the ones that kept me going, even after small disasters in the kitchen. And now, after many, many years, I continue to prepared food, and that gives me tons of pleasure. The more I cook and bake the more I feel confident enough to make changes, to adapt recipes – I guess that maybe you feel the same way. This cake, for instance, called for mascarpone to be mixed into the batter, but I decided to use heavy cream instead, since the Italian cheese is made with cream. It worked really well: the cake turned out fantastic, tender and full of lemon flavor, thanks to the syrup poured over it while still hot from the oven. And to make this recipe even more perfect, the butter is melted, so there is no need to wait for it to soften (which can take forever in the cold days we’ve been having here).

I guess both grandma and aunt Angelica would be proud. :)

Lemon cornmeal cake with lemon glaze
slightly adapted from the delicious The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle

Cake:
220g all-purpose flour
115g medium-ground yellow cornmeal – I used polenta
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup (160ml) heavy cream
4 large eggs
265g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

Lemon syrup:
½ cup (120ml) fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar

Lemon glaze:
175g confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 23cm (9in) round cake pan, line it with a circle of baking paper and butter the paper as well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, zest, baking powder, and salt.
Place the cream in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then the sugar and vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients in two batches. Stir in the butter. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until risen and golden and a skewer comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
Towards the end of the baking time, make the lemon syrup: combine the lemon juice and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat.
Cool the cake for 5 minutes in the pan over a wire rack. With a toothpick, poke a few dozen holes all over the top of the cake, then brush the cake with the lemon syrup until all the syrup is absorbed.
Cool completely in the pan.
Carefully unmold the cake, peel off the paper and invert it back onto a plate.
Make the glaze: sift the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl. Add the cream and the lemon juice, stirring until you get a drizzable consistency. Pour over the cake and allow to set, about 30 minutes.

Serves 8-10

3 comments:

Sara said...

Yum! This looks so yummy! Lemon and cornmeal are such a great combo in cake...so good!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

I love lemon with cornmeal, such a lovely cake!

Liz said...

Pinned! I'm a little obsessed with cornmeal cakes, and I can't wait to give this one a try. Thanks for the gorgeous-looking recipe!

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