Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Almond and citrus polenta cake

As the poet intimated, the winter of discontent is made summer again. Celestial Dragon and Divine Cherry are moving residence. The Palace is being emptied and its treasures are being boxed and sent away. Loose ends are being chased down and tied up, and goodbyes have become daily routines. Cobwebs will be spun in soon-forgotten corners and even Small Perfect Cloud will wander off to another sky. However, do not think that these are reasons for sadness and depression only, for Divine Cherry and Celestial Dragon are not really leaving, simply moving. Granted, they will move to a different shore close to the bard's brave new world, but it will be a physical move only. And we all know that what truly matters is the spirit. Nevertheless, it is always good to remind oneself once in a while, and that is why Celestial Dragon invited all the adjacent deities for one of many last suppers. (Time moves in circles, as do most cakes. And wheels. As well as three-legged turtles. That is why there are many suppers which purport themselves to be last, but that are in fact repeated with the endless baking of new cakes.)
It was one of those many suppers that Divine Cherry decided to present this cake. It is a matter of general knowledge, and many stories and myths attest to this fact, that Divine Cherry was born in a field of polenta, and that her first pacifier had in fact only the shape of a pacifier but was in truth polenta incarnate. The scriptures also tell us that Divine Cherry, despite her name, grew up in gardens of lemons, oranges and grapefruits. (It is believed that "cherry" stems from a practical joke she has chosen to forget.) It is also rumoured that Divine Cherry's first words, as recorded in the First Annals, were prunus amygdalus. It is therefore only natural that, when an event of such monumental importance as a change of residence occurs, Divine Cherry resorts to what she knows best: polenta, citrus, and almonds. And because Divine Cherry is now a grown deity, she has decided to express these ingredients through an art she has perfected over the last centuries: baking. Et voici le résultat...

Almond and citrus polenta cake - recipe adapted from "Jamie Magazine" n. 28

- 225 g butter, softened
- 225 g sugar
- 3 eggs
- 125 g polenta flour
- 125 g ground almonds
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 lemons, juices and grated zest
- 1 orange, juices and grated zest

- 75 g icing sugar
- zest of 1 lemon cut in long stripes
- juice of 1/2 lemon

With an electric whisker beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale. Add the eggs one per time, continuing beating. add the polenta flour, ground almonds, baking powder, the juices of orange and lemons and grated zests. Stir until well mixed. Grease a springform tin and pour into the mixture. Bake for 45-50 minutes in preheated oven at 170 C.The cake is ready when it looks just firm in the middle. Let the cake to cool completly before unmould.
Decoration: for the icing,mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice until you get a thick paste and drizzle overthe cake. For the candied lemon strips: put in a small pot 2 table spoons of water with 2 table spoons of sugar, add the lemon strips and cook until the strips are tender. Put them in the middle of the cake.

Torta di polenta alle mandorle e agrumi ricetta tratta da "jamie magazine" n. 28

- 225 g burro morbido
- 225 g zucchero
- 3 uova
- 125 g farina di polenta
- 125 g  farina di mandorle
- 1 cucchiaino di lievito in polvere
- 1 limone e 1/2: succo e buccia grattuggiata
- 1 arancia: succo e buccia grattuggiata
- 75 g zucchero a velo
- il succo di mezzo limone
- la buccia di un limone tagliata a listarelle sottili

Con una frusta eletrica batte il burro e lo zucchero fino ad ottenerecolore pallido. Aggiungere le uova, una alla volta, continuando a sbattere.  Incorporare la farina di polenta, le mandorle, il lievito e i succhi e le bucce di arancia e limoni. Mescolare per amalgamare il tutto. Versare il composto in una teglia apribile precedentemente imburrata e infarinata. Cuocere in forno caldo per 45-50 minuti a 170 C. Lasciar raffreddare la torta nella tortiera prima di sformare.
Decorazione: mescolare zucchero a velo e succo di imone fino ad ottenere una pasta abbastanza densa. Con una forchetta far cadere un po' di glassa sulla superficie della torta. Per le bucce di limone: cuocere le listarelle in un pentolino con due cucchiai di acqua e due di zucchero fino a che le bucce sono morbide. Poggiarle sul centro della otrta a formare una cupoletta.

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