I love blood oranges. It's a pity the season when they're available here is pretty short. At the moment you can buy them in Waitrose and Sainsbury's. They have such a beautiful colour and an intense sweet taste. They are wonderful in fruit salads, or juiced, and also as an ingredient in cakes and bakes.
I bake an excellent orange polenta cake, and have been baking it for years. My family loves it.
Last week I spotted a recipe for Blood orange drizzle cake on Sainsbury's website. It was different from my usual bakes because it had a blood orange curd in it.
Last Friday I baked the cake and made the curd.
Sadly, the curd looked like something already eaten and regurgitated. My elder son looked at it with such distaste, that I didn't dare adding it to the cake. I hasten to add, that the blood orange curd tastes lovely, it's just the looks we find slightly repulsive. The colour of blood orange is diluted by the addition of eggs and cornflour, and it acquires a pale pink colour with unpleasant associations. For some reason the colour of curd on Sainsbury's site is nothing like what I made.
|blood orange curd|
I have adapted the recipe for the cake, baking it more or less following my own old recipe, but the curd I have made, exactly as suggested online, so if you fancy making some of your own, follow the link above, as I won't be reproducing it here.
Blood orange drizzle polenta cake
zest of 2 blood oranges and 1 lemon
180g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
juice of 1 blood orange and 1/2 lemon
185g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
150g butter, melted
juice of 1/2 lemon + icing sugar, enough to make a thick icing
1 blood orange, peeled and sliced, for decoration
In a big mixing bowl grate the zest of blood oranges and lemon. Add the caster sugar, and beat in the eggs, one by one. Add the polenta and orange and lemon juice, mix well. Sift on flour and baking powder, add melted butter and mix well together.
Pour in the cake batter into a spring cake tin, lined with parchment and oiled. Place the tin in the oven preheated to 180C, and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and the wooden toothpick comes clean.
Take the cake out of the oven, let it cool a bit before taking out of the tin and cooling it on the wire rack.
Mix thick icing with lemon juice and icing sugar, and spread over the top of the cake. Decorated with slices of blood orange.
If you're using the curd, you'll need to slice the cake, and spread the curd.
If you don't have polenta, just use the same amount of flour, but polenta adds a lovely grainy texture to the cake. You could probably use ground almonds as a substitute as well, they'll give a nice texture to the cake too.
Last week's cake didn't last more than two days. Today's bake will probably be eaten quickly as well. It is very tasty, with a cup of tea or coffee.