Give your sponge an Italian twist with Jane Hornby's easy-to-make polenta cake
- 225g very soft butter
- 225g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 175g fine polenta
- 50g plain flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- finely grated zest of 1½ lemons
- 200g frozen raspberry, left frozen
- icing sugar, or more to taste (optional)
- 100g soft cheese at room temperature (we used Philadelphia)
- 1 tbsp icing sugar, or more to taste
- finely grated zest of ½ lemon, plus a squeeze of juice
- 142ml tub double cream
- 100g frozen raspberry, defrosted
MethodLine the bottom of the tins with baking paper. In a large bowl, beat the butter and 225g caster sugar together until creamy and light. Gradually add the egg, little by little, until all the egg is worked in and the mix is pale and fluffy. If the mix looks like it’s starting to split, add 1 tsp of the flour, then carry on.
- 225g softened butter, plus extra for greasing
- 225g golden caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 2 limes, grated zest and juice
- 250g self-raising flour, sifted with a pinch of salt, plus extra flour
- 25g ground almond
- 100g each blueberry and raspberries
- 8 tbsp lime juice (about 4 limes)
- 1 lime, grated zest
- 140g golden caster sugar
- Line the base and sides of a 20cm/8in square cake tin (not loose-based) with greaseproof paper and butter the paper. Set oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan oven 160C.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little flour towards the end to prevent curdling. Beat in the lime zest, then fold in the flour and almonds. Fold in enough lime juice – about 3 tablespoons – to give you a good dropping consistency (the mixture should drop easily from the spoon when tapped).
- Fold in three quarters of the blueberries and raspberries and turn into the prepared tin. Smooth the surface, then scatter the remaining fruit on top – it will sink as the cake rises.
- Bake for about 1 hour (cover with foil if beginning to brown too much), or until firm to a gentle prod in the centre. A skewer pushed into the centre should be clean when removed.
- Meanwhile make the syrup: put the lime juice, zest and sugar in a small saucepan. Put over a gentle heat and stir, without allowing to bubble. The sugar should dissolve a little. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick all over with a skewer then spoon the syrup over it. To store, cool before wrapping in paper and/or foil.
- Carefully remove the cake from the tin, discard the lining paper and cut into 12 pieces to serve.
- 150g punnet raspberries
- 6 tbsp fromage frais
- 2 tbsp lemon curd
- 4 ready-made brandy snap baskets
- 1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
- Reserve a few raspberries for decoration. Put the rest in a bowl and mash roughly with a fork. Fold in the fromage frais and the lemon curd and divide the mixture between the brandy snap baskets. Top with the remaining raspberries and almonds, then serve straight away.
- 200g digestive biscuit
- 75g butter, melted
- 600g full-fat soft cheese
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 150g tub natural yogurt
- 3 medium eggs
- finely grated zest 2 lemons, juice of 1
- 50g plain flour
- 200g raspberry
- icing sugar, to decorate
- Heat oven to 120C/100C fan/gas and line the base of a 20cm round springform tin with greaseproof paper. Crush the biscuits in a food processor or in a food bag using a rolling pin. Tip into a bowl with the melted butter and mix well. Push the biscuits into an even layer into the base of the cake tin and chill until needed.
- In a separate bowl use an electric whisk to beat the soft cheese with the sugar. Next beat in the yoghurt then the eggs one at a time. Finally beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice and flour. Fold through two thirds of the raspberries crushing them very slightly so they start to bleed into the mix then tip the mix on top of the biscuit base and smooth over the top. Bake for 45 mins to an hour, then turn off the oven, leave the cake inside for another hour then cool at room temperature. Chill overnight. To serve, remove from tin, scatter with remaining raspberries and dust heavily with icing sugar.