Three flours, none wheat

In a surprise turn of events, TD pulled this recipe for me a few months ago from, where else, the Wall Street Journal.

When I made the cake several weeks later, he asked where I’d gotten the recipe.  Turns out, when he found it he only got as far as the candied orange peel, decided I would like it, and perused the list of ingredients no further.

This recipe combines almond meal, corn flour and corn meal to give the loaf an interesting and satisfying body.

Unable to resist anything citrusy, I actually doubled-up on the zest and juices.

The instructions suggest serving the cake with a scoop of coconut ice cream.  I double and triple this recommendation.  Bright and lovely, this cake is sophisticated enough to serve as a dinner-party dessert. That fact that all the elements can be prepared in advance and assembled in minutes makes this dessert a party no-brainer.


Almond Polenta Cake

adapted from the Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2013 who adapted it form the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook

Candied Orange Peels


  • 10 clementines, mandarin oranges, tangerines, tangelos or small blood oranges (I used blood oranges of course)
  • 2 C water
  • 2 C sugar


  1. Peel citrus and separate into segments, removing as much pith as possible.
  2. Bring sugar and water to boil over medium-high heat in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  3. Reduce heat to low, add peel and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Strain mixture over a bowl and return liquid to the pan.
  5. Set pan over medium-high heat and cook until syrup is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 6-8 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool completely and gently stir-in the citrus segments.

Almond Polenta Cake


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks, 16 TBS) unsalted butter, plus additional to grease pan.
  • 1 C superfine sugar
  • 2 C almond meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of 2 lemons + juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange, plus juice of 1 orage
  • 1/4 C corn flour
  • 1/4 C corn meal
  • 2/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • coconut ice cream
  • fresh mint sprigs


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease loaf pan and line with parchment.
  2. With an electric mixer or standing mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter and sugar until pale and light, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add almond meal and vanilla, mix on low until combined.
  4. Beat-in eggs one-at-a-time.
  5. Fold in citrus zests and juices, corn flour, corn meal, baking powder and salt.
  6. Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake until set and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes.
  7. Allow loaf to cool on rack for at least 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  8. Serve each slice topped with a scoop of coconut ice cream, a hefty drizzle of candied citrus peel and a sprig of mint.

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