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Crumbly Lemon Polenta Cake

Asked by Sweetie ash. Answered on 15th April 2015

Full question

I have a gluten allergy and am always looking to try new recipes. I have tried the lemon Polenta Cake recipe twice and the cake always falls apart. Would you suggest I add 200 gms of polenta too? I use the fine polenta, is that the cause?

Our answer

Nigella's Lemon Polenta Cake (from Kitchen and on the Nigella website) is a popular gluten free cake made with ground almonds and polenta. As it is gluten free it is less robust in structure than a regular cake and we are not sure at what point the cake is falling apart but the cake should unmould from a springform pan fairly well and you should be able to cut it into slices. You do need to use a springform pan as otherwise the cake will be difficult to unmould and you should also let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing it as the cake will become firmer as it cools.

We would not advise increasing the polenta quantity as this will make the cake dry and if anything more prone to crumbling. Also you should use the type of polenta that takes about 40 minutes to cook and not the very fine instant/quick-cook type that takes 2 to 3 minutes to cook. Instant polenta is partially cooked, then dried and ground very finely and absorbs liquid readily. This could be the reason why your cake is a little crumbly. If you can't find regular polenta then try looking for cormeal instead. Finally if your cake continues to be crumbly then it may help to add an extra egg to the batter. The egg will increase the moisture content and help to bind the cake together.

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