As with most cakes, this Punch Foods polenta cake tastes even better the day after (if that’s even possible!). The caramely, orangey goodness gets right to the bottom of the cake and definitely tantalises your sweet tooth! So, let’s tell you how to make it, shall we. Take it away Alexandra!
Blood oranges have always seemed a rather ‘royal’ fruit to me. The fantastic fleshy pinks and reds that one reveals when enjoying this delightful fruit never fail to excite. Often seen as a delicacy, blood oranges are sometimes hard to find but when I do I buy as many as I can. I think the thing I love most about this cake is the final reveal of the oranges. It never fails to thrill me, similar to enjoying the splendid fruit itself. Although a little more fiddly than most cakes, I can promise that the end result makes it well worth it.
Enjoy it with a spoonful of crème fraiche or coconut yogurt. I have even been known to eat it for breakfast.
FOR THE CARAMEL
– a knob of unsalted, organic butter (about 40g) or coconut oil
– ½ cups of coconut sugar (about 75g)
– 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
FOR THE CAKE
– 2 blood oranges
– 5 organic eggs, separated
– 1 cup coconut sugar (130g) plus 3 tablespoons (about 30g)
– 1 cup ground almonds (about 110g)
– ½ cup polenta (75g)
– ½ tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp pure, organic, vanilla extract
HOW DO I MAKE IT?
1. Preheat your oven to 180°. Grease and line an 8 inch spring form cake tin with baking parchment.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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).
6. If you haven’t already, separate your eggs, placing the yolks in a large bowl.
7. 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).
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. Take about one third of the egg white mixture and stir it into the cake batter to loosen it up a little.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
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READ MORE: In the Kitchen with Alexandra Dudley – Punch Foods