Going down the gluten-free road

Culinary Conversations
with Peter Blakeway
Food writer, caterer and private chef

For this week’s recipe, I thought I’d go down the gluten-free route. We tend to think gluten-free is a modern phenomenon closely related to food processing’s massive over-reliance on flour and flour products. To some extent this is true, flour is being added less for what it can do and more as a packer because it’s cheap. After all, who would check to see the flour content of icing sugar, it shouldn’t be there but sometimes it is.

This cake uses polenta instead of wheat flour, which gives it a wonderful almost nutty flavour and a delicious lemony zing. Eat it as is or with some natural yoghurt. Or if you can find it, some, New Zealand buffalo milk yoghurt. Remember, it’s all about the taste.

Polenta, almond and lemon cake


450g unsalted Butter

450g caster sugar

450g ground almonds

2 tsp vanilla essence

6 eggs

Grated zest of 5 lemons

Juice of 2 lemons

225g polenta flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Butter and flour a 30cm cake tin.

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and light, stir in the ground almonds then beat in eggs, one at a time.

Gently fold in all of the other ingredients and spoon into cake tins.

Bake in the preheated oven for 60-90 minutes, or until set. The cake will be a deep brown on top.




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