I have to begin by saying that this is quite possibly the best cake I have EVER made! And considering that I've been baking for 30 years, that's fairly impressive. Even my two boys gave it their highest ranking, putting it ahead of anything chocolate (even my chocolate peanut butter brownies!). So in other words, I highly recommend you make yourself some Lemon Blueberry Polenta Cake as soon as possible. And I'm not just saying that because I invented it :)
This recipe will make two 8" cakes - one to share and one to keep all for yourself! Or if you have a bit more willpower, you can stash the second one in the freezer to pull out on a day when a dose of Lemon Blueberry Polenta Cake is just what the doctor ordered.
This is a moist, dense cake with a lovely texture (courtesy of the cornmeal). You could use raspberries, blackberries or sliced strawberries in place of the blueberries. Heck, I think I'm going to try it with chopped peaches or cherries. I can't imagine any of them being better than the blueberries, though!
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 pint fresh blueberries
icing sugar for dusting (optional, but makes your cake look extra-fancy)
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add olive oil and eggs and beat for a minute or so. Add almond extract and lemon juice and zest. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture gradually, beating on a medium-low speed until well combined.
Line two 8" round baking pans with parchment paper. Fill each pan a bit less than half full with batter. Sprinkle blueberries over batter in a single layer (you should use a full pint between the two cakes). Pour remaining batter over blueberries and carefully smooth it over the top of the fruit to cover completely.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top and cake no longer has any "jiggly" bit in the centre. Cool on a wire rack for 30-60 minutes, then carefully flip out of pans and onto rack to cool further (although you probably won't be able to wait any longer to start eating it!) Dust with icing sugar before serving if you have guests for dinner :)