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Blood orange and polenta cake

Blood orange and polenta cake

Blood orange season is short but oh so sweet (and a bit sour) and this orange and polenta cake is a firm favourite here at Watts HQ!


For the caramelised orange slices:

  • One blood orange
  • 120g caster sugar

For the cake:

  • 450 g blood oranges (about 4 medium sized oranges)
  • 6 eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 125 g polenta
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  •  tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • First prepare the caramelised oranges that you will decorate the cake with Pour the extra 120g caster sugar into a medium saucepan with 120ml of water. Bring to a low boil until the sugar dissolves.
  • Cut one blood orange into thin slices then submerge into the sugar syrup before bringing back to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes. 
  • Remove the orange slices from syrup (but keep it to pour over the cake later) and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 10 minutes at 150°C. Turn the orange slices over and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside whilst you make the cake.
  • Place the whole oranges into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and line and grease a 20cm round cake tin.
  • Remove the oranges from the pan then halve and remove the pips
  • Put the oranges into a blender and blitz until smooth.
  • Beat the the eggs and sugar together until combined then mix in the orange purée.
  • Add the polenta, ground almonds, baking powder, rosemary leaves and salt, then beat until combined
  • Add the batter to the tine and bake for 10 minutes then increase the heat to160°C. Bake for a further 30 minutes until firm to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Once the cake is ready, remove from the oven and whilst the cake is still in the tin prick the surface all over with a cocktail stick. Pour the reserved blood orange sugar syrup all over the surface of the cake.
  • Let the cake cool in the cake tin before removing. Decorate with the blood orange slices and fresh rosemary then serve.

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