Cornmeal Cake (Torta Di Farina)

This dense, moist cake is sweetened with honey and laced with walnuts. Cornmeal cake is a wonderful, not too sweet treat that is perfect for those who can’t have flour.

The Recipe

by volume                                                            by weight

1½ cups cornmeal                                        255 grams cornmeal

3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts            80 grams finely chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon baking powder                   12 grams baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt                                          2 grams salt

14 tablespoons soft butter                     196 grams soft butter

1/2 cup honey                                                170 grams honey

1/2 cup sugar                                                 99 grams sugar

3 large egg whites                                      150 grams egg whites

 

Directions

Heat the oven to 350F and line the bottom of a 10 inch cake pan with parchment.

Mix the cornmeal, walnuts, baking powder, and salt together.

Beat the butter until very light and fluffy. It should be almost white in color.

Beat in the honey and the sugar.

Stir in the cornmeal and nut mixture and beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.

Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter to lighten the texture. The batter is very stiff so most of the volume of the first addition of the whites will be lost.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan. The center will fall slightly. Remove the cake from the pan and gently remove the paper from the bottom.

Dust the top of the cake lightly with powdered sugar if desired.

 

Alternatives

Honey and walnuts are a fabulous combination but other nuts can be substituted. Pistachios or almonds are good choices. Their flavor and texture can stand up to the cornmeal in this cake. A little lemon or orange zest in the batter would also be a nice addition.

Substitute honey for the sugar if you don’t care to use white sugar.  Brown sugar could also be used.

Garnish this cake simply with a bit of fresh fruit. Lightly sweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche would also be appropriate for this rustic cornmeal cake.

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