It is becoming decidedly ‘Springish’ here (on a good day anyway!), and for some reason that has made me think of this simple cake. It makes an interesting dessert and a good conversation starter! The idea of using extra virgin olive oil in a cake may seem a little odd, but it adds to the fruity flavour while the polenta gives an interesting, slightly crunchy texture.
It is good served dusted with icing sugar and a little lightly whipped cream, or if you want to give it an extra lift, try it drizzled with a little of the orange syrup as well.
For a 23cm cake (8-10 servings):
zest and juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
2 large (size 7) eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup instant polenta
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Zest the orange and place the zest in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice from the orange and make it up to half a cup with a little water if required.
Add the orange juice, oil and eggs and salt to the bowl and whisk to combine. Measure in the sugar then whisk again until the mixture looks pale and creamy.
Measure in the flour and polenta and stir to combine.
Pour the batter into a baking paper lined and non-stick sprayed 23cm round tin and bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes in the tin before removing and cooling completely on a rack.
Dust with icing sugar just before serving with a little lightly whipped cream, yogurt or icecream.
Finely grate the zest from half an orange, and place it in a small pot or microwave safe bowl. Squeeze the juice of the orange and add this to the pot or bowl and stir in 1/2 cup sugar. Heat, stirring occasionally, on the stovetop or in the microwave until the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves. Cool a little before serving alongside the cake.
Photography: Lindsay Keats