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Orange, Almond and Polenta Cake

The combination of polenta and almond in this cake gives it an interesting coarse texture which complements the citrus flavour. I used a Brioche cake mould, but the cake can be done in a 25 cm cake pan or spring form cake pan if preferred.

800 g oranges (about 4 medium)
210 g/250 ml castor sugar
140 g/250 ml self-raising flour
2.5 ml salt
125 g butter at room temperature
4 large eggs at room temperature
100 g ground almonds
100 g polenta

Juice of 2 – 3 medium oranges (± 300 ml orange juice)
Zest of 1 orange or lemon, finely chopped
105 g/125 ml castor sugar
2,5 ml Pimiento Spice

  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 20 cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper.
  2. In a medium-sized pot, cover the whole oranges with water and boil for 10 minutes.  The oranges should be soft and tender but not mushy.
  3. Drain the water and cut the oranges in quarters.  Place the oranges and 100 g of the castor sugar in a food processor and process until quite fine.  Allow the orange pulp to cool slightly.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 160  C.
  5. Sift the flour and salt together 3 times.
  6. Cream the butter and remaining castor sugar in a large bowl with an electric beater.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  8. Fold in the dry ingredients, orange pulp, almonds and polenta and mix well.
  9. Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 1 hour.  Test with a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake.  It should come out clean.  If not, bake for another 10 minutes.
  10. To make the syrup, combine the juice, zest and castor sugar in a heavy-based saucepan.
  11. Stir over a low heat to melt the sugar.
  12. Boil the syrup for 5 minutes and pour some of the syrup over the cake the minute it comes out of the oven.
  13. Reserve the rest of the syrup to pour over the cake when serving.

12 servings.

A silicone brioche mould with a support ring on a baking tray.