Blood Orange, Rosemary and Polenta Cake

Blood Orange Rosemary and Polenta Cake
This wouldn’t be a very realistic British blog without giving the weather its due attention.  The reason we Brits chat about the weather so much is that we suffer through every type and gosh do we suffer.  There is always some extreme weather condition on the go to govern our train times, the roads and our moods.  This time round it is those howling winds, whipping the coastline up into a frenzy.

It may be true that we live in London so the likelihood of us getting washed out to sea in a tidal wave during our walks with the puppy are quite slim but I see it as no reason not to be extra cautious.  I’ll come out when Easter is here, the chicks are trilling and the flowers blooming.

So for now I’ll batten down the hatches, flick on The Voice and nestle down in blankets on the sofa with tea and cake.

Blood Orange Rosemary and Polenta Cake2

This cake is as much of a store cupboard cake as you can get.  My fruit bowl is always filled with sweet blood oranges at this time of year which I hoard like I belong on a reality tv show to eek out the most of their too short season.  Everything else was all present and correct in my kitchen and I was able to use the last of the polenta which has been languishing in my cupboard for far too long which cheered me up immensely.  I always love using up the end of ingredients, allowing my other tins and jars more room to breathe.

The absence of any flour also means it is an excellent gluten free option and the pureed orange and syrup soaked sponge wards off any sort of dryness.  We enjoyed this cake with a dollop of whipped double cream but it would be equally delicious with crème fraiche or without anything at all.

Blood Orange Rosemary and Polenta Cake3

Blood Orange and Rosemary Polenta Cake
Adapted from 90 Years of KitchenAid-The Cookbook

2 blood oranges
6 eggs
250g caster sugar
125g polenta
125g ground almonds
1 tbsp baking powder
1 ½ tbsp. finely chopped rosemary leaves
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp juice from a blood orange

  1. Place the blood orange in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line and grease a 20cm round cake tin.
  3. Remove the oranges from the saucepan and cut in half to remove and discard the pips.
  4. Place the oranges in a blender and blitz until smooth.
  5. Beat the eggs and sugar until pale and thick.
  6. Mix in the pureed orange.
  7. Add the polenta, ground almonds, baking powder and rosemary leaves. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  8. Pour the batter in the prepared cake tin and bake for around 40-45 mins until firm to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Once the cake is ready, remove from the oven and prepare the honey syrup by dissolving the honey in 2 tbsp blood orange juice in a saucepan on medium heat. Once dissolved and reduced slightly, prick the cake all over with a toothpick and pour the honey syrup all over the surface of the cake.
  10. Let the cake cool in the cake tin before removing and serving.

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