Serves 6 to 8
I recall this simple cake from my childhood; it is the Italian version of pound cake, a bit lighter and with a granular texture. It is wonderful served for dessert with some ice cream and berries, or just toasted for breakfast. It keeps for a week or more.
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- Zest of 1 lemon, grated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- ½ cup fine cornmeal
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more the pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 9-inch springform pan. Soak the raisins in the brandy to plump them. Chop the walnuts and set aside.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Once all the eggs are added, beat on high speed for a minute to lighten the batter. Beat the lemon zest and vanilla.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Add to them mixer, and mix on low speed just to combine. Drain the raisins, and add them and the chopped walnuts to the batter, mixing again just to distribute them. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, and bake on the middle rack of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cake on a rack before unmolding.