This recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine – August 2015
This cake, with an upside-down topping and moist, sandy texture, this charmingly retro cake is naturally gluten-free. If you’re baking for someone who is sensitive to gluten, make sure to use gluten-free baking powder.
Ingredients: For the Sponge: 120g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing; 125g caster sugar; 2 eggs, lightly beaten; 75g ground almonds; 75g fine or ‘quick cook’ polenta; finely grated zest of 1 lemon; 1 tsp baking powder; pinch salt
For the Topping: 2 medium nectarines – or equal quantity of other stone fruit – skin on, stones removed; 75g light Muscovado sugar; juice of half a lemon
Step One: Preheat the oven to 190oC. Lightly grease a 20cm round cake tin with butter and line the bottom with baking parchment. Generously grease the parchment with butter too. It’s best not to use a loose-bottomed tin here, but if that’s all you have, tightly wrap a double layer of foil around the outside of the base to prevent juices escaping.
Step Two: Quarter the nectarines and cut them into thin slices. Toss with the sugar and lemon juice, then arrange in a single layer, slightly overlapping, round the bottom of your tin. Scrape any excess sugar syrup over the top.
Step Three: To make the sponge, cream butter and sugar in a bowl with a wooden spoon, or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in the almonds, polenta, baking powder, lemon zest and salt.
Step Four: Spoon the batter over the nectarines, smooth the surface with a spatula, then tap firmly on the work-surface to remove any bubbles. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until risen and golden.
Step Five: Remove the cake from the oven, run a sharp knife around the edge, then leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.