Sunday, 26 May 2013

Orange Polenta Cake


There are lots of recipes for this Italian cake out there, this is mine where I grind up the orange peel into the sugar before creaming with the butter. I find this method click here for the recipe which is used in my other orange scented cake, is far easier in the long run when you want to get the most out of orange zest.

For this recipe you will need;
240g of caster sugar
240g of unsalted butter (room temperature)
200g of ground almonds
4 medium eggs
100g of fine polenta
50g of self raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 oranges
1 teaspoon of orange flower water

For the soaking syrup,
the juice of the oranges (around 200ml)
140g of sugar
1 teaspoon of orange flower water.

Begin by lining a 20cm cake tin with parchment paper and switching on the oven to 180C. Grind the sugar and the finely peeled rind of the oranges along with the salt until you have  fine orange sugar, the link to the process is above. Cream the butter and the soft sugar until it is light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time and beat well in between. If you do this gradually enough you should avoid curdling but frankly a little curdling is not going to make a huge difference to the end result. Add the flour, polenta, ground almonds and baking powder and mix only until completely incorporated. Place the cake batter in the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, turning the oven down to 150 for the last 10 minutes.
Place the juice, sugar in a small pan and bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. Finally add the orange flower water.
When the cake is fully cooked, remove it from the oven, prick the cake all over with a cocktail stick and dribble the syrup slowly and evenly over the top. Leave to cool completely before taking out of the tin.

Notes:
This cake is dense, far denser than my sodden orange cake mentioned above, however I find the texture pleasing, and the bite and flavour of the polenta things to enjoy
You can make a version of this using lemons, use 4 rather than two but otherwise keep the recipe as it is, you will find you need a little more juice to make the syrup.
I serve this with a cream made of creme fraiche and a little cooked rhubarb.

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