Orange and Lemon Polenta Poppy Seed Cake

I am supposed to be sleeping, getting ready for a long flight to Hawaii in the morning.

But no, I cannot leave on holiday without first getting my affairs in order (ie posting for both of my blogs).

I made this cake last week with my excellent cousin Georgia. We were lacking in a car to drive places and we both kinda felt like cake.

For Mum's birthday Jack and I bought her the new Ripe Deli book

Ripe Recipes: A fresh batch.

Boy is it a great book! I have photocopied what seems to be every second page.

Amongst the wonderful recipes in this book was a recipe for gluten free orange and lemon polenta loaves.

They looked so moist and excellent in the picture. We had polenta, and ground almonds and plenty of oranges and lemons! The only thing we didn't have were the two loaf tins required. So we decided to turn this into a cake. And a large cake at that.

We used a 23cm round tin with decently high sides. The cake rose right to the very top! It was seriously the tallest single layer cake I had ever seen. It was really impressive looking. The high fat content also ensured the cake's easy removal from the tin. Overall making this cake was almost as much of a dream as that heart shaped feijoa cake a few weeks back.

This recipe was supposed to have chia seeds in it. We used poppy seeds instead. Sure they don't have all the super nutrients that chia seeds supposedly have but they give the same speckled effect.

Polenta comes from very finely ground corn, hence why this cake is gluten free (provided you use maize corn flour and gf baking power). The polenta lends quite a corny taste to this cake as well as a soft gritty texture. It is interesting and strangely addictive. The moistness of this cake is to die for. Make sure you put plenty of zest lemon icing on the top as well! We were too impatient to munch on cake while watching a movie so the warm cake caused the icing to dribble everywhere but really at the end of the day who cares?

We found the method of this cake really really weird. You have to boil the oranges and lemon for ten minutes then whizz them up in the blender to a pulp. Then this all gets added to the cake. Adding to the moistness I suppose.

Are you uncomfortable with the number of times I have said moist in this post so far?


Orange and Lemon Polenta Cake with Poppy Seeds

Makes one very tall 23cm cake

2 oranges, topped and tailed so that they can stand without rolling around in the saucepan.

1 lemon, topped and tailed

1 1/4 (210g) cup finely ground polenta

1/4 cup (35g) cornflour

1 cup (100g) ground almonds

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons poppy (or chia) seeds

250g butter, softened

2 cups (440g) castor sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees on bake.

In a medium sized saucepan, place the oranges and lemon and then pour in boiling water until it reaches two thirds of the way up the fruit. Boil for five minutes, flip over the fruit then boil for another five. Remove from the water and set aside to cool a little.

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time until the incorporated and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, mix together the polenta, almonds, corn flour, baking powder and poppy seeds.

In a blender or small food processor, blend the oranges and lemon to a smooth pulp.

Add a cup of the dry polenta mix and a few dollops of the pureed fruit mix to the butter-sugar-egg mix and mix until incorporated. Continue adding the polenta and puree alternately until it has all been mixed in.

Pour the mixture into a large, tall, lined and greased cake tin.

Bake for an hour then cover the tin with tin foil and bake for a further 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool before removing from the tin.

Once fully cool ice with a lemon glaze:

25g melted butter

2 cups icing sugar

juice of 1 lemon