Olive Oil & Blood Orange Cake

Olive Oil and Blood Orange Cake

This recipe is adapted from the brilliant Rosie Birkett. With blood oranges in season now make sure you don’t miss out and whip up this brilliant cake. It’s light, fantastic for making in advance and I’ve found it works even when it has been frozen. Think of it like the well-to-do cousin of the lemon drizzle cake, and it’s just as easy to make. This is cake is styled on one of the amazing craft collection plates.

Ingredients

2 whole medium-sized blood oranges

225ml olive oil and extra for greasing the tin

200g ground almonds

120g polenta

1tsp baking powder

3 large eggs

225g golden caster sugar

For the syrup

100g golden caster sugar

1 blood orange juiced

50ml water

1 bay leaf

Method

  1. Place the blood oranges into a pan of boiling water, they are to be kept completely whole at this point with the peel still on. Simmer the oranges for around 20 minutes with a lid on, but leave a gap for steam to escape. When the oranges are soft gently lift from the pan and leave to cool for a little while. Once cooled, quarter and blitz in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Heat the oven to 180C/160Cfan/Gas 4 and lower the oven shelf to towards the bottom part of the oven. Grease the sides of a 20cm cake tin and line the sides and bottom with greaseproof paper.
  3. Tip the almonds, polenta, baking powder and ½ teaspoon of salt in to a large bowl and mix to combine. In a large mixer add the eggs and the sugar and whisk until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy, this will take some time so stick with it. After the mixture has thickened pour the olive oil in a steady stream, make sure you are still whisking at this point. Be careful not to add the oil in too quickly as this will cause the mixture to split. Once you have added in all of the olive oil you can now add the blood orange puree and the dry ingredients. Stir to create a smooth batter. Transfer the mixture into your prepared baking tin and place in the oven; this should take 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes to cook. To test insert a skewer into the cake, if it comes out clean it is cooked. Leave the cake to cool in its tin.
  4. To make the syrup add the sugar, blood orange juice and water to a small pan and gently heat through until the sugar has dissolved, leave to cool in the pan and add the bay leaf.
  5. Use a skewer to pierce the cake and drizzle the syrup over. I serve mine with some toasted almonds or hazelnuts and natural yoghurt.
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