The FoodTV chef Giada De Laurentiis prepared this recently on her show "Everyday Italian." The episode featured a "Polenta Party" but this light cake sounded so much like it could be a great addition to Thanksgiving or Christmas menus that I wanted to get it down and post it for folks that might want it for their holiday tables. :) It would also be good for Easter! We made the cake for a recent Italian dinner party, and it was a nice, light ending to the meal.
- 1⁄2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
- 1⁄2 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1⁄4 cup almond paste, cut into half inch pieces
- 1 1⁄4 cups confectioners' sugar, plus
- additional confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- 1⁄2 teaspoon good quality pure vanilla extract
- 2 whole eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1⁄4 cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter and lightly flour an 8-inch round cake pan (or use vegetable spray).
- In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, cake flour, and baking flour, whisking well to mix; set aside.
- In an electric mixer and using a paddle beater, beat together the softened butter and almond paste on high speed until very smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the confectioners' sugar, mixing until well combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Increase the speed to high, then add the vanilla, whole eggs, and the egg yolks one at a time; mix until incorporated well.
- Reduce the speed to medium then add the sour cream and the cornmeal mixture, and mix until just blended (don't overmix- only mix for a couple of minutes, tops).
- Pour the cake batter into the greased pan and smooth the top with the back of a large spoon or a spatula.
- Bake at 350 degrees F in the lower third of the oven for 35 minutes, or until the color of the cake is golden and the batter pulls away from the side of the pan.
- Remove from oven, place pan on wire rack, and let cool.
- Turn the cake out from the pan, place on serving platter or dish, and dust with confectioners' sugar.
- Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.