Serves 6 to 8
Theres a farmstand near Pearsons house that sells all kinds of oranges. That inspired this cake, with its colorful, jeweled top. My philosophy is dont worry when you cook. If you cant find blood oranges, just have fun with it. Use any citrus and make it your own, says Aikman-Smith.
1/2 cups sugar 1/2 cup water
2 Valencia oranges, thinly sliced
2 blood oranges, thinly sliced
2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup fine-grind polenta I1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 4 eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch spring-form pan. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and the water, and heat over medium-high heat. Allow sugar to dissolve without stirring. Boil the mixture for about 5 minutes, until it starts turning golden brown. Remove from heat, pour the syrup into the prepared pan and swirl the cake pan to cover the bottom.
Arrange the orange slices in concentric circles on the syrup, overlapping them and covering the bottom of the pan completely.
In a bowl, stir together flour, polenta, baking powder and rosemary; set aside. In another bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat together the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar on low speed until creamy. Then increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is light, fluffy and pale ivory. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined.
Reduce the speed to low and add the polenta and flour mixture a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl until combined.
Spoon the mixture over the orange slices and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving platter and serve warm.
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