Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
Grease a 1L loaf tin. Place the dates and bicarb in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow the dates to stand for 30 minutes, then drain, but reserve 1 tbsp of the water and chop the dates.
Place the butter and castor sugar in a bowl, beat until smooth and pale. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Stir the polenta, pistachios, baking powder, salt, dates and date water into the butter mixture, then fold through the beaten egg whites.
Spoon the batter into the cake tin and bake for 50–60 minutes.
For the syrup
In a small pot, bring to a boil the lemon juice and golden syrup. Simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and pour over the syrup. Allow the cake to stand in the tin until cool.
For the icing
Whisk together the egg white and icing sugar until soft peaks form.
For the sliced lemons
Place the sliced lemons in a small pot, cover with water and simmer for 15 minutes, add the sugar and half a cup of water, cook until the syrup has thickened, set aside and allow to cool.
Spread the icing over the cake, top with lemons and drizzle with syrup.
Makes a 20cm cake
Text and image: Fairlady
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