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Lemon Polenta Cake Without Almonds

Asked by katherinerowberry. Answered on 4th February 2016

Full question

I have a nut allergy, can I replace the almonds with plain flour in the Lemon Polenta cake successfully?

Is it possible to swap the lemon for orange in the polenta cake and if so how many oranges would I need in comparison to the lemons? Thanks!

Our answer

Nigella's Lemon Polenta Cake (from Kitchen and on the Nigella website) is a gluten free cake that is made with ground almonds (almond meal) and fine polenta. The combination of the two gives a moist, tender and slightly grainy texture. However we do not recommend using plain (all-purpose) flour instead of ground almonds.

Ground almonds contain nut oils that add moisture to the cake whereas flour absorbs liquid. This means that the cake will be dry once it has been baked. Also the gluten in the flour will mean that the texture of the cake is too tough. Instead we would suggest looking at Nigella's Lemon-Syrup Loaf Cake from Domestic Goddess. This uses self-raising flour, or you can use the same weight of plain flour plus 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder.

Oranges could be substituted for lemons in the cake. If you can find the bitter Seville oranges they they would be ideal as the tartness works well with the cake. We would suggest that you use the zest of 2 oranges in the cake and 125ml (1/2 cup) of orange juice for the glaze (or you could use half lemon juice and half orange juice in the glaze if using regular oranges).

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