i once lived in Italy for a short period of time. where i stayed, there was a beautiful glass bell jar in the kitchen, filled with fresh pastries everyday, delicious and tempting, ready for anyone who passed by. i loved how the host extended her warmth & homeyness, even without her presence.
long after my Italy days, the image of that filled bell jar still meant something in the back of my mind.
as i took a bite of this polenta cake, the amazing citrus aroma reminded me of her pastries. it’s time to replicate that good vibe! from now on, there will be a bell jar on my counter, filled With Added Love, flowing through the river of time…
Heavenly orange polenta cake
orange polenta cake, aaah… tastes like “heaven”!
- Prep Time: 25 min
- Cook Time: 1h 35 min
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 8 persons 1x
For the polenta cake:
- 2 oranges
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup ≈ 125 g maple syrup &/or honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup ≈ 100 g olive oil
- 1 cup ≈ 150 g polenta, aka: cornmeal (coarse flour)
- 1 cup ≈ 100g almond flour
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- pinch of salt
For the syrup:
- juice of 1 orange
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup (65 g) honey
for the cake:
- pre-heat oven, 175 ºC / 350 ºF.
- wash oranges thoroughly with peel on.
- in a pan, place oranges in pan, pour water to cover oranges, bring water to boil, reduce to low heat, simmer 1 hour.
- allow water fully cool down before removing oranges.
- in a smaller bowl, while keeping the peels intact, carefully cut oranges in quarters, remove any seeds, remove the hard top & bottom crown.
- coarsely grind oranges in a food processor, it should not be too liquidy. at this stage, you are still able to see the texture of skin & flesh, “INSTEAD OF” a fully blended smoothie.
- tip 1: the key here is “during the entire process, try to preserve as much juice as possible”
- tip 2: as an alternative to a blender, simply do a “hand-split” to divide oranges into small pieces to avoid loosing juice.
- tip 3: do not worry about the remaining of the skin, they do add amazing pleasant aroma to the cake.
- tip 4: if prefer, buy oranges with thinner skin.
- in a large bowl, beat eggs & syrup, add vanilla & olive oil while mixing.
- spoon dry ingredients (polenta, flour, baking powder, salt) & oranges into large bowl with egg / syrup mixture, spoon mix lightly.
- line a springform tin with greaseproof baking paper, carefully pour mixture in.
- at this point, cake mixture in tin should be somewhat liquidy, place tin in oven carefully.
- bake until golden brown on top, about 30 ~ 35 minutes, insert toothpick into cake to test for doneness, if comes out clean, it is done.
for the syrup:
- while cake is baking, in a small saucepan, heat orange juice, lemon juice & honey until honey dissolves completely, mixture should be slightly warm (not boiling).
- when cake is out of oven, begin using toothpick to prick entire cake with many many small holes. this will allow “the syrup” to flow-into the cake & be fully absorbed.
- pour syrup allover cake slowly.
- allow orange cake to cooldown in mold. cover cake & store on a dry, cool place.
- allow “syrup” to soak through overnight.
- enjoy the divinely flavored pastry.
serve cake with “Drained Goat Yogurt & chopped Pistachio Nuts” topping cream will bring your savoring experience to a different level. the Yogurt & Nut topping cream can be prepared a night before.