This is just the kind of deliciousness I like at Christmas, something light and rich. Makes a nice change at this time of year! One of the highlights for me is the intense spiced marmalade glaze (with or without whiskey;) This cake can be served as festive dessert with some vegan creme fraiche or cream.
I do enjoy Christmas cake and pud, but they can get a little heavy. This one is so easy to make and looks lovely, it’s also gluten-free, so it ticks many dietary boxes. I know that we can be cooking for friends and family at this time of year and catering for dietary requirements. I love recipes like this, that everyone can enjoy, vegan, gluten-freers and the rest! It’s just a straight up delicious cake.
You’ll probably get a better, caramelised look in your oven. I was using a big old oven (looks like an ancient steam train) which is a temperamental creature, ideally, we’re looking for loads of gorgeous caramel all over your oranges. But either way, it’s a lovely cake.
The only problem I can see with your average polenta cake is that it can be a little dry. You won’t have that issue with this recipe as the oranges sit on top and keep the cake nice and moist. You can also use blood oranges (which I couldn’t get hold of), pears, apples, pineapple, plums, in fact most fruit will be great on top of this almond and polenta base. The polenta means that you get a nice crust on this cake, soft in the middle, crisp on the outside is always a good combo in my book.
I’ve had a really nice couple of weeks, whizzing all over the UK cooking and enjoying. One of the highlights was walking along the tip of Cornwall, near Land’s End. There were rainbows out at sea, the waves were huge and ferocious and the coastline jagged and epic. The wind was incredible and it seemed like I had the whole coastline to myself. Afterwards, I enjoyed the obligatory pastie, I was amazed to see how many vegan options there are in Cornwall. I also managed to check out some cool locations for cooking retreats in ’18. More info to come soon……
If you’re looking for some Christmas recipes, here’s a few we think you’ll like:
This will be my last post before Christmas ’18, I’m just leaving to Spain, so I must scoot. Thanks to everyone for the support, inspiration and love in 2017! You really make the BHK a very special place to be!! Have a peaceful and chilled Christmas filled with tasty nibbles. Let us know what’s cookin’ in the comments below?
Love and Happiness, Lee & JaneX
This cake is not a big riser, but it should still be light.
The texture of this cake is moist, when checking it during baking, bare this in mind. There is a difference between moist and sticky/ raw. You can tell when you check it with a skewer, there should be nothing that looks like raw cake batter on the skewer. I hope that makes sense;)
If you are using other fruit, feel free to freestyle with the glaze. Using other jams for example is a really nice idea to compliment the fruit.
Because of the fresh fruit, this cake does not keep well. I guess you’ll just need to polish it off quickly (don’t worry, this is easily done:)
Spiced Orange & Almond Upside Down Cake
The Bits – For 8-10 slices
125ml light rapeseed/ olive oil
100g light brown sugar
150g ground almonds
1 lime or ½ lemon (juice)
1 teas baking powder
½ teas turmeric
1 teas vanilla extract
2 tbs ground flax/ chia seeds (mixed with 5 tbs water)
A little light brown sugar (for dusting)
5 tbs marmalade
2 star anise
2 green cardamom pods (cracked)
2 tbs whiskey (optional but nice)
Line and oil the base and sides of a 8 inch cake tin with baking parchment. Lightly dust the base and side of your cake tin with sugar. Preheat oven to 180oC.
Zest one of the mandarins, neatly peel the rest and slice across into ⅔ cm slices. Pick out any seeds. Lay the slices over the bottom of the tin and fill in the gaps with segments if needed. Beat together the oil and sugar and add the orange zest, lime juice, almonds, polenta, baking powder, turmeric, vanilla extract and flax seeds. Mix until combined well. Pour the batter into your cake tin. Smooth the top.
Bake on a middle shelf for 25-30 minutes, until the cakes top is golden brown and springy. Test with a skewer and remember this is a moist cake, so there will be more stickiness than a normal cake when testing.
While it’s baking, warm the marmalade and spices in a small pan, boil for a minute and then set aside.
Leave the cake to cool and turn out of the pan onto a serving plate/ platter. Brush with the marmalade (easiest to do when warm). Decorate with the spices if you like and serve with vegan creme fraiche or ice cream.