Blood Orange, Polenta, Almond Cake
As with most cakes, this tastes even better the day after, as the caramely, orangey goodness gets the chance to seep down to the bottom. But I have to say that generally by the time I have turned it out I am itching for at least one slice.
- a knob unsalted, organic butter (40g) or coconut oil
- 5 organic eggs
- 1 cup coconut sugar (130g)
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 2 blood oranges
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp pure, organic, vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup polenta
- Preheat your oven to 180°. Grease and line an 8 inch spring form cake tin with baking parchment.
- Begin by zesting both of your oranges, keeping the zest aside for later. Using a sharp serrated knife, chop the bottom and top from just one of your oranges before slicing off its skin and any white pith. Once most of the pith is removed slice the orange horizontally into about 1cm slices, being careful to keep the segments intact. You may need to remove the middle of the pith from each slice after doing this.
- Keep your orange slices aside whilst you get on with the caramel. Simply place your butter, ½ cup of coconut sugar and lemon juice into the pan and bring it to the boil. Stir it just once about half way through and then leave it until the sugar has melted and bubbles are starting to form.
- Allow the bubbles to form for about a minute and then remove from the hob and pour it into the base of your lined cake tin.
- Spread it out as much as you can and then arrange your orange slices over the top. (tip: if there is a more attractive side of the orange slice place it this side down as the end result will display this as the top of the cake).
- If you haven’t already, separate your eggs, placing the yolks in a large bowl.
- Using an electric whisk, whizz your egg yolks with the 1 cup of sugar until the mixture has become a light brown and has a bit of a shine to it. (About 3-4 minutes).
- Add your polenta, almonds, baking powder, orange zest and the juice of the remaining orange and stir with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, using your electric whisk again (ensure you have washed and completely dried the beaters beforehand), whisk your egg whites until they are slightly stiffened and hold what I like to call a droopy peak.
- At this stage begin to gradually add the 3 tablespoons of sugar whilst you whisk. You will be left with a slightly speckled golden meringue-like looking mixture.
- Take about one third of the egg white mixture and stir it into the cake batter to loosen it up a little.
- Pour the remaining egg white mix and gently fold into the cake mix. Do make sure to incorporate all the whites into the cake and don’t be afraid to give it a little bit of a mini stir if you find a disobedient lump.
- Give the cake a little wobble and tap the edges just to remove any excess air bubbles. Place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The cake should be springy to touch and nicely browned.
- Remove the cake and allow it to cool on a wire rack until the tin has cooled enough for you to touch it. I recommend removing the sides at this point, as if any caramel has come up the sides during the baking process it will harden quite quickly. Be gentle when doing this and you may want to have a sharp knife on hand just to run along any sticky bits. Don’t worry if this has happened as it only makes for an even more indulgent caramel edge.
- Let the cake cool completely before inverting it onto a serving plate and peeling off the parchment. You should be left with a glorious orange pattern.