First, you need to wrestle with the knotty problem
of whether to throw a party or not
If the answer is YES! Then you need to work out ALL the details,
such as how to make things look festive
suitable party activities*,
how to smuggle in the party food and accessories...
make some bunting,
string up some fairy lights
post the invitation
and settle back to enjoy the party,
maybe even have a bit of a dance.
On the morning of the Actual Birthday (which by lucky chance is an INSET day)
there's the unwrapping of some fabulous presents
and the emergency dash to the supermarket with pyjamas under jeans to buy blueberries so that the Birthday Girl can bake the cake recipe she's spent three days researching and refining (but forgot to check she had blueberries in the freezer to make it)
And finally, you can admit that yes - polenta and almond and lemon and blueberry and mascarpone is a VERY good combination and no, Mummy hasn't lost her marbles putting polenta in a cake, and yes, please may I have seconds.
Lemon & Blueberry Polenta Cake
250g soft butter
250g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp almond extract
2 lemons - zest of both, juice of one
- Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one by one with the almond extract
- Sprinkle over the baking powder, then fold in the polenta, almonds, zest and juice
- Spread into a buttered 23cm springform tin, with baking parchment on the bottom.
- Sprinkle the blueberries on top, and poke them in
- Bake 150C (fan oven) or 160C normal oven for 1 hour, test with skewer
- Leave to cool in tin for a few minutes, then turn out carefully onto a rack - line it with kitchen towel to soak up some of the buttery juices.
This is a very moist, very buttery delicious confection - wonderful served warm with a dollop of mascarpone. I haven't a clue what it is like when cold, because we just got stuck right in...I'll let you know!
* Luckily the Best Dress competition was cancelled - I wouldn't have stood a chance because I ended up attending the party wearing my dog-walking trousers.
**I used coarse polenta, because that's what I had. Fine or medium may be less gritty, but there's been no complaints so far...