Sunday, September 8, 2013

Orange Almond Polenta Cake

These days Nigella Lawson features in my favorite Brits list, along with J.K.Rowling. (Of course those who've traipsed with me on my April sojourn, would know about my other favs. and no, Kate Middleton is not one of them.) In any case, her lemon polenta cake was one of the first of her recipes that I tried. But today I didn't have lemons and I really wanted something sweeter and less tart. Also I didnt want to add any butter. So I varied the recipe around and it turned out gorgeous, rustic, and yummy. I simply had to share! So here it is:
For the cake:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp orange extract
2 cups almond flour. (I had only one cup of almond flour, so I added a cup of AP flour instead. By the way, I ground my own almond flour using roasted almonds.)
3/4 cup polenta
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Orange zest

For the syrup:
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tblspn orange marmalade
1/3 cup orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the base of a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper and grease its sides lightly or spray lightly and flour the pan.
Beat the eggs and sugar, add oil and the extract
Mix the dry ingredients together: Almond flour, AP flour if using, polenta and baking powder. Add it to the wet ingredients. Add the orange zest. Pour into the pan and bake until an inserted fork comes out clean.
Meanwhile prepare the syrup: Heat the ingredients for the syrup together until the sugar dissolves.

Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its pan. Prick the cake all over, and pour the syrup over the cake.  Do this when while the cake is still warm and in the pan.

Let cool completely before removing out of the pan, sprinkle confectioners sugar on top. This is a dense, rustic cake and completely satisfying. Cut a slice and enjoy the nuttiness of the almond, crunch of the polenta and the sweet citrussy notes of the orange.