i like to bake. cakes and pies and biscuits and bread. sometimes i make lemon curd and sticky jam and put it in pretty little jars. i sell it all at markets. and then i write about it here.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

say cheese

I spent last night eating. A lot. My friend Kat invited me over for an evening of wine, gossip and food. Fully aware that Kat does not do dinner parties by halves, I had prepared myself for some full-on feasting. Nibbles kicked the night off, followed by a huge portion of pasta (homemade - very impressive), pudding (a choice of three. I had all three) and cheese. Too full to even speak, the cheese course came accompanied with groans of protest. But it wasn't long before we were tucking into this impressive array. Creamy, hard, blue, smoked, chutney, grapes, bread, crackers.... I woke up this morning with a 'food hangover', still full from the gluttony of the previous evening, yet strangely hungry. It’s true what they say about cheese giving you weird dreams too. Mine involved carrying my parents' talking cat around in a rucksack.

One of the puddings came courtesy of myself. This lemon and polenta cake tastes light and fresh and finishes a meal off nicely. More of a pudding than a teatime cake due to its creamy filling. I gave it a retro twist by decorating it with sugary lemon slices.
lemon and polenta cake
for the cake
3 eggs
110g caster sugar
1 lemon
50g polenta
30g ground almonds
for the filling
300ml double cream
250g lemon curd
Preheat the oven to 180C.
1. Separate the eggs and whisk together the yolks and sugar until pale and creamy.
2. Finely grate the lemon. Add the juice of the lemon to the yolks and sugar a little at a time, whisking continuously until it thickens.
3. Mix the lemon zest, polenta and ground almonds together. Stir this into the mixture.
4. Beat the egg whites until almost stiff and fold them into the mixture.
5. Pour the mixture into a greased and lined 20cm cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes.
6. Once the cake is completely cool, carefully slice it in half horizontally.
7. To make the filling, beat the cream until it is firm and mix in the lemon curd. Cover one half of the cake in the cream, lay the other half on top and use the rest to cover the entire top and sides of the cake. Decorate as you like.