Winter is coming. And with it, citrus. On a sunny Saturday over Easter, I made this orange polenta cake and shared it the following day with family friends in Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden, a special Sydney spot over by Lavender Bay. It was perfect for picnicking - sturdy and transportable - extra lovely to eat outside, especially in such surrounds as it's laced with the delicate perfume of orange blossom.
Orange and polenta cake
Recipe by Jamie Oliver, as published by delicious
Zest the oranges for the cake before juicing them for the syrup.
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra to grease
200g demerara or raw caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups (200g) almond meal
100g coarse polenta
Zest of 2 oranges
1 tsp orange blossom water
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
Creme fraiche or plain yoghurt, to serve
Syrup1 cup (250ml) orange juice
30ml orange blossom water
5 cardamom pods, crushed
125g caster sugar
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until thick and pale. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then stir in vanilla essence. Combine almond meal, polenta, orange zest, orange blossom water and baking powder in a small bowl, then stir into the butter mixture. Pour into pan and bake for 50 minutes or until golden and the cake is coming away slightly from the sides. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a plate. This cake is quite fragile so take this slowly.