Another blood orange recipe. I have to take advantage whilst is still in the markets! This is one of those recipe where polenta is used in a cake, and it really work, it gives the cake a wonderful texture and flavour. Polenta is a main ingredient in Italian cuisine, its not only a side dish, but a main one. Its really more important than pasta in northern Italy, and its versatility is enormous, you can use it in a casserole, for polenta gnocchi, with melted cheese, as a filling for different vegetables. Etc. There are two kinds of polenta, the fine ground and the coarse one, and you also get the quick and the normal version. Polenta is one of those ingredients which you either love or hate. I love it...
This is a sponge with toasted pistachios, and it’s drizzled with a blood orange syrup after it’s baked. The blood orange gives the syrup a very attractive colour and its distinctive sweetness. You can use ground almond instead, and normal orange if you can’t find blood oranges and the result will be also delicious. The original recipe has sour cream but if you can’t find it, you can use buttermilk, or yogurt.
Ingredients for the cake
300g sour cram
125g softened butter
1 cup, caster sugar
2 cups self raising flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2/3 cup polenta
1 teaspoon finely grated blood orange rind
¾ cup water
2/3 cup toasted shelled pistachios
For the Blood orange syrup
1 cup blood orange juice
1 cup caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Preheat oven to moderately slow. Grease deep 20cm round cake tin.
Make blood syrup by combining all the ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat, simmer for about 15 minutes or until syrup thickens. Cool to room temperature.
Place sour cream, butter, sugar, sifted flour, and soda, polenta, rind and the water in a large bowl. Beat on medium speed until it changes to a pale colour. Stir in pistachios. Spread cake mixture into prepare tin. And bake for about 1 hour. Stand cake in tin for 10 minutes; turn cake, top side up, onto cooling rack. Serve cake warm or cold with strained blood orange syrup.