Please Pass the Recipe

from one generation to the next

Blood Orange Polenta Cake

IMG_3637.JPG
I was in Italy when I first marvelled at the sight of a cut blood orange. Tasting the intensely flavoured fruit simply reinforced my infatuation. It was April 1997. I returned from that trip to find blood oranges had made their debut at home.

Each year since, the first appearance of locally grown blood oranges in our markets has been a winter highlight. Only the price deters me from buying them in bulk. Instead I treat myself each week to a single blood orange just for the taste. I exploit their deep jewel like colour shamelessly.

Nigella Lawson’s lemon polenta cake recipe is the basis of this post, simply swapping the lemon for blood orange, then adding candied fruit for embellishment. This is a seriously good cake. It’s moist and delicious and firmly textured so it easily cuts into thin slices without crumbling. The cake improves if left for 24 hours before cutting, allowing ample time for the syrup to penetrate, and the polenta to soften.

I’ve baked this cake with lemon, I’ve baked this cake with oranges, next I’ll try it with lime.

IMG_3636.JPG
for the cake:

200 grams soft unsalted butter

200 grams caster sugar

200 grams ground almonds

100 grams fine polenta (or cornmeal)

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (see note below)

3 large eggs

zest of 2 blood oranges, finely grated

for the syrup:

juice of 2 blood oranges

juice of 1 lemon

125g pure icing sugar

candied orange slices:

1 blood orange

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups water

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm springform pan and line it with baking paper.

Cream the butter, sugar and finely grated orange zest.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Combine the polenta, almond meal and baking powder, then stir it into the butter/egg mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the top, then bake until done when tested with a skewer, about 40 minutes.

Leave the cake in the tin, stand the tin on a try.

Pierce the hot cake all over with a fine skewer then pour the syrup over. Leave the cake to stand for 24 hours. It will slowly absorb the syrup.

Gently release the cake tin clip and remove the cake to a serving plate.

Decorate the cake with candied blood orange slices, then melt the residual syrup and spoon over the oranges to glaze.

to make the syrup:

Combine the icing sugar, orange and lemon juices together in a small pot. Stir constantly over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved.

to make candied orange slices:

Cut a slice from the top and bottom of the orange deep enough to reveal the flesh.

Cut the orange in half vertically, then cut each half into thin slices.

In a wide shallow pan, bring the water and sugar to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the orange slices.

Cook on a high simmer until the oranges have become translucent and the syrup has almost completely evaporated.

Remove the orange slices to a tray lined with baking paper to dry. Reserve the residual syrup as a glaze.

IMG_3638.JPG

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

37 comments on “Blood Orange Polenta Cake

  1. The Hungry Mum
    July 8, 2016

    what a stunner of a cake! So pretty and I love blood orange.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Orange Almond Cake | Stefan's Gourmet Blog

  3. joey and the owl
    September 9, 2014

    Looks like heaven!

    Like

  4. Fig & Quince
    September 8, 2014

    I’ve been away far too long, I even missed your new Gravatar. LOVE seeing your profile pic!

    And the recipe: wow! love blood orange and the sight of this cake gives me the swoons. YUM!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 9, 2014

      Thanks Azita, I thought it was time to come out, so to speak. It’s a fantastic recipe, give it a try, I’m sure you could Persianize it..

      Like

  5. sabine
    August 31, 2014

    what an interesting cake – the flavors and textures combined must make a really delicious treat!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 31, 2014

      Hi Sabine, it is a very delicious cake with an interesting texture and fresh orange flavour

      Like

  6. ohlidia
    August 30, 2014

    This does indeed look like a seriously good cake Sandra. And soooo pretty! Love that you’ve added your picture so that I can see you now! 🙂 It’s been a while since my last visit, but I like the changes that I’m seeing on your blog. xoxo

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 30, 2014

      It good to see you Lidia, I hope life is treating you kindly….

      Like

  7. chef mimi
    August 29, 2014

    Is sounds so good, but you made it look extra lovely!!!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 30, 2014

      Thanks Mimi, the candied blood orange slices made it easy, they glistened like jewels

      Like

  8. Serena
    August 29, 2014

    Very interesting recipe, lovely presented!! Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  9. Traditionally Modern Food
    August 29, 2014

    I want a big slice:-) yum

    Like

  10. M
    August 29, 2014

    wooooow, the look of that cake!

    Like

  11. Fae's Twist & Tango
    August 29, 2014

    Indeed, the one and only Lady Red Specs! A lovely avatar. 🙂
    This blood orange polenta cake has a gorgeous color and so beautiful to look at. Wouldn’t mind a slice. 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 29, 2014

      Aw thanks Fae, you can thanks Chef Mimi for my coming out! Sorry to say the cake’s all gone, would have been happy to send a slice over the ether?…

      Like

  12. Francesca
    August 29, 2014

    I also noticed your coming out, Sandra.Its a happy, friendly looking mug shot. Something I might do one day if someone ever manages to capture a half decent pic of moi. Love that cake, shall be my next one to make. I am growing blood oranges. They are ready now, but small.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 29, 2014

      Lucky you having blood oranges at you fingertips Francesca. The cake is excellent, we enjoyed it down to the last crumb. We took a humungous number of photos to get a new avatar I was happy with!

      Like

  13. trixpin
    August 29, 2014

    It’s so pretty! I remember when I first tried blood oranges when I was little and they were so sweet and special, but I never seem to see them around these days. I’ll have to search them out for this recipe 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 29, 2014

      Thanks trixpin. I agree there is something special about blood oranges,

      Like

  14. StefanGourmet
    August 29, 2014

    This looks amazing and I’m sure it’s as delicious as it looks! I’m putting this on my ‘to bake’ list.

    Like

  15. Oh, this cake looks amazing – sadly my blood orange tree died last year.

    Like

  16. emmabarrett1508
    August 29, 2014

    Wow! I have to try this recipe out very soon. Thank you for sharing. Emma.

    Like

  17. Karen
    August 28, 2014

    Love your beautifully simple cake…it glistens like a jewel.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 28, 2014

      Glad you like the cake Karen, the candied blood oranges very successful

      Like

  18. marymtf
    August 28, 2014

    You’ve come out from behind those specs, nice. That polenta cake looks pretty good too.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 28, 2014

      Hah, succumbed to the pressure from a long time follower to “show my mug.” I think anonymity suit me better…

      Like

  19. cheergerm
    August 28, 2014

    Super beautiful, like an Art Deco rose. I too adore blood oranges. The flavour, the colour, everything. A great sounding GF cake that I will be trying shortly. I have tried polenta cakes in the past but didn’t love but this recipe sounds and looks great.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 28, 2014

      I think you’ll like this cake Cheery. We thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful!!!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on August 28, 2014 by in Baking, Cakes, Desserts, Food, Fruit Desserts, Gluten Free, Gluten free baking and tagged , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: