Wild Strawberry & Orange Polenta Cake

Serves: 8-10

You will need

150ml blood orange juice
8 tablespoons Bonne Maman wild strawberry conserve
3 small oranges, thinly sliced
210g unsalted butter
210g golden caster sugar
50g self-raising flour
150g ground almonds
150g polenta
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs, beaten
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
50ml vodka (optional)
Crème fraîche, to serve



Directions

1. Line the base and sides of a 20cm (8”) spring-form tin with greaseproof paper. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4.

2. Put the blood orange juice and 6 tablespoons of conserve in a large frying pan with 150ml water. Bring to the boil, stirring until the conserve has melted. Add the orange slices in an even layer and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes or until the slices are translucent and soft. Lift the slices from the pan and use to line the base and sides of the tin. Reserve the poaching liquid.

3. In a separate bowl beat together the butter and sugar until very pale and creamy. Mix together the flour, almonds, polenta and baking powder. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a spoonful of the dry ingredients between each addition.

4. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients with the orange zest, juice, vanilla essence and poppy seeds. Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and level the surface. Bake for 30 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 170ºC/Gas Mark 3 and continue to bake for a further 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

5. Meanwhile, stir the remaining 2 tablespoons of conserve into the poaching liquid and bring to the boil. Bubble for 5-7 minutes or until the liquid is well reduced to a sticky syrup. Stir in the vodka and set aside.

6. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool. Brush or spoon over about half the strawberry syrup until all the orange slices are glazed. Serve in wedges with the remaining syrup and a generous spoonful of crème fraîche.

Tip: To freeze, chill, pack and freeze the cooked cake. Cool and freeze the strawberry syrup. To use, thaw the cake and syrup overnight at room temperature. Bring the syrup to the boil and brush over the cake whilst still hot.

Recipe courtesy of www.bonnemaman.co.uk 



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