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Ordinarily, I think of cornmeal for two reasons: lining a pan before baking and actually baking cornbread — either loaf or muffins. Here cornmeal is the essential ingredient in a lovely dessert. You don’t want to frost this cake. You want to garnish it with fruit and perhaps whipped cream.

Here we have taken orange slices and used our little portable chef’s torch to start caramelizing the fruit. We garnished with candied slivers of orange peel. I tried for the whipped cream but all of Suzen’s chefs here at Cooking by the Book rebuffed my solution. So, I’m going to make the cake on my own next time I’m upstate by myself. And I’ll do the darned candied lemon but it’s going on top of the whipped cream

Lemon-Cornmeal Cakes

Yield: serves about 8


1 pound butter (4 sticks) at room temperature

1 pound sugar

6 eggs

4 lemons, zest grated and then juiced

½ pound cornmeal

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 pound almonds – ¾ pound ground; ¼ pound sliced


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add the zest and juice of lemons, cornmeal, baking power and ground almonds, to creamed butter mixture.

Fold in sliced almonds.

Pour into very well buttered floured, parchment lined 10 inch round cake pan. Or, 24 individual well buttered floured ramekin’s (4-6oz size)

For cake pan, bake for 45 minutes or until tests done.

For ramekins, bake for 15 -20 minutes or until tests done.

Garnish as shown.



Source: Rian Smolik, Cooking by the Book

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/5 for 1/50th second at ISO‑160