Sunday, March 1, 2009

Orange Polenta Cake

This month's issue of Gourmet has an amazing recipe. Orange Polenta Cake. Our friends made it and brought it over a couple of weeks ago when we all got together. We were drooling over it, asking if they might leave some pieces so that we could have some for breakfast. It was that good. So, this post is really thanking them for inspiring me to make it. And this is for you; I am trying to inspire you to make it. M. and I made this recipe but did not have all the right ingredients, so substituted blue cornmeal for polenta and used blood oranges instead of navel oranges. It turned out great! Here is why I suggest you too try this recipe.
First, the caramel top makes every bite buttery
Second, it is so unusual but the components work so well together it makes you want to keep eating it.
Third, it is not overly sweet

Tell me if you try it and let me know how it turns out!
From Gourmet Magazine:

For Cake

  • 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons orange-flower water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups ground almonds (7 oz)
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking polenta

For Glaze

  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon water

Make Caramel Orange Layer:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Lightly butter a 9-inch round cake pan, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper and side with a strip of parchment.
  • Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then wash down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil, without stirring, swirling pan occasionally so caramel colors evenly, until dark amber.
  • Remove from heat and add butter, swirling pan until incorporated, then carefully but quickly pour caramel into cake pan, tilting it to coat evenly.
  • Grate zest from oranges and reserve for cake. Cut remaining peel, including white pith, from both oranges with a paring knife. Cut oranges crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Remove any seeds and arrange slices in 1 layer over caramel.

Make Cake:

  • Beat butter with sugar using an electric mixer until just combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in orange-flower water and reserved zest.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer at low speed, mix almonds, polenta, and flour mixture into egg mixture until just combined.
  • Spread batter evenly over oranges (preferably with an offset spatula). Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert cake onto a cake plate and discard parchment.

Glaze Cake:

  • Heat marmalade with water in a small saucepan until melted. Strain through a sieve into a small bowl. Brush top of cake with some of glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cooks’ note: Cake, without glaze, can be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well, at room temperature. Glaze before serving.


Anonymous said...

Jessica, this seems so complicated! Where did you ever get orange water? You are so creative ... G

carolina said...

In wanting to make this delicious sounding cake, I noticed that there are no quantities given for the caramel step??

Jessica said...

I will look up the gourmet article and post the caramel step for you. Sorry it was incomplete. It really is worth it though. I still dream about this cake regularly!


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