Orange Polenta Cake

3 medium oranges (unwaxed or at least well washed)
2 tablespoons of robust-flavoured marmalade
200g almond meal
140g polenta meal
1 flat tablespoon of baking powder
8 large free-range eggs
350g raw sugar


  1. Boil the whole oranges for about an hour in water, making sure to watch and top up the water so it doesn’t run dry. Oranges should be very soft and squidgy.
  2. Cool the oranges enough that you can cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds.
  3. Whiz the orange parts, with skin, in a food processor or with a blender stick. Add the marmalade and leave the orange mixture to cool down further.
  4. Heat oven to 160 degrees.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the almond meal, polenta and baking powder. Set aside.
  6. Put the eggs and sugar into the food processor and whip for about five minutes till light in colour and the consistency of a frothy milkshake. Now beat in the almond meal mixture and then the orange mixture.
  7. Pour into a prepared 24-25cm springform cake tin (buttered sides and bottom with a sprinkling of polenta grains tapped all around to cover the base and sides of the cake tin). Leave a fingertip border from top of the cake tin to allow for the cake to rise without running over the edges of the tin.
  8. Bake for 15 mins at 160C, then turn down to 120C and cook for another 60-70 mins. Don’t worry if the cake still appears damp—as long as it has coloured to a golden colour and is just firm to a gentle touch, it is ready. Leave the cake in the tin to cool completely. It may sink a little in the middle.
  9. It will be quite a fragile cake, so just pop off the springform cake collar after loosening up the edges with a flat knife all around the sides. Leave it on the base and serve slices from there.

This cake is wonderful with whipped cream, sour cream or ice cream and another dollop of marmalade on the side. Better eaten at room temperature but can be kept in the fridge for at least a week.