This buttery cornmeal cake contains more than a half-pound of toasted almonds, giving it an excellent, nutty flavor. Instead of using plain whipped cream as a topping, Chef Mike Lata whips a combination of cream and mascarpone for a bit of tanginess.
- 3 cups sliced blanched almonds (about 10 ounces)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup fresh mascarpone cheese
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
How to Make It:
Step 1 : Make the cake
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Spread the almonds on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, stirring once, until golden. Let cool completely, then transfer the almonds to a food processor and process until finely ground but not pasty.
Step 2: Make the cake
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla, scraping down the bowl, until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at time, beating well between additions. Scrape down the bowl and beat the batter until fluffy, 1 minute. Beat in the lemon zest and juice. With a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the batter, then the cornmeal and the ground almonds.
Step 3: Make the cake
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the cake to a wire rack, still in the pan, and let cool to room temperature.
Step 4: Make the topping
In a large stainless steel bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar and whip until barely firm peaks form.Step
Step 5: Make the topping
Run a thin knife around the side of the cake pan and invert the cake onto the wire rack. Place a plate on top of the cake and turn the cake right side up. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the mascarpone cream and strawberries.