B has instigated a bit of a polenta obsession round here lately. And he's done such wonderful things with it I had to prove myself by using it too. Sharing a delicious slice of orange and chocolate polenta cake in the office last week made sure that this weekend, polenta and cake were going to meet.
Leith's Baking Bible was called forth from its parking space on the shelf. I didn't have the exact ingredients so fiddled with it slightly. But only slightly. And I'm making the poppy seeds essential. They should not be optional. Neither should a dollop of crème fraîche to serve.
Citrus Polenta Cake (from Leith's Baking Bible, with a couple of teeny alterations)
170ml olive oil
170g caster sugar
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp poppy seeds
150ml lemon and orange juice
55g caster sugar
1. Heat the oven to 180°C
2. Grease and line a 23cm spring-form tin
3. Beat together the egg yolks, oil, 150g caster sugar and zests until smooth
4. Mix the dry ingredients together, then fold into the egg mixture
5. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then beat in the remaining caster sugar
6. Fold into the cake mixture, a few tablespoons at a time
7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
8. While its baking, and your kitchen is filled with beautiful smells, heat the fruit juice with the caster sugar until the sugar dissolves. Then boil the mixture for 1 minute before leaving to cool
9. Pierce the cake, helping it cool, and when it is cool, cover in the syrup. Leave it for as many minutes as you can before cutting in.