What better a way to spend a rainy afternoon than to do a spot of baking. What to bake was the question. I had a few oranges in the fruit bowl and noticed a packet of polenta in the cupboard so the idea was set and an Orange & Polenta cake was on the cards.
This is the most easiest of recipes as you will see later. The longest part is waiting for the oranges to soften and cool then it's downhill all the way. The batter is made by just simply mixing all the ingredients together which I then poured into the tin and baked. Don't worry as the batter is very liquid but it bakes perfectly. The lush soaking syrup can be made whilst the cake is baking.
The cake has a wonderful texture, a delightful little grainy bite but oh so moist and intensely orangey.
Grand Marnier is an optional addition but makes it fabulous for a dinner party dessert especially if served warm with Thick Creamy Greek Yoghurt, whipped cream or Mascapone
The Cake Ingredients:-
150 gms Polenta
150 gms Ground Almonds
250 gms Caster Sugar
2 large oranges
6 large eggs
The Soaking Syrup :-
100 gms Caster sugar
100 ml water
2 large oranges
an optional 2-3 tbsps Grand Marnier
You will need to grease and line a 21 cm / 8½ inch baking tin
Leave to cool
Add all the other cake ingredients to a mixing bowl along with the pulped orange and mix well together
Pour into the prepared baking tin. The batter is fairly runny but don't worry.
Mine took exactly an hour in my fan oven set to 160c /350F but check with a skewer after 45/50 minutes. If it comes out clean then it's baked through. Leave to cool for 10 minutes or so. Skewer the cake all over the top ready for the soaking syrup.
Whilst the cake is baking make to soaking syrup. Add the remaining sugar and 100 ml water to a pan bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the orange zest & juice from one orange and thinly slice the remaining orange and add to the pan. At this stage you can add the optional Grand Marnier. Continue simmering for just a few minutes. Until the orange slices are softened but not falling apart.
Carefully remove the cake from the baking tin taking off the baking parchment before placing on your serving dish
Spoon over the syrup, (there's quite a lot but the cake will soak it up) and arrange the orange slices around the cake.
Just before serving sprinkle with a little icing sugar
I served mine whilst still warm with a dollop of delicious thick Green Yoghurt but it would be perfect with whipped cream or mascarpone cheese