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Almond, Orange and Polenta Cake



  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges (set a few pinches aside for garnish, if desired)
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Creme fraiche or whipped cream, to taste
  • Vin Santo or almond-flavored liqueur, to taste
  • Sliced almonds (optional)
  • Orange zest (optional)


  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform cake tin.
  2. Beat the butter until it becomes pale and soft, then add sugar and beat until light and creamy. Stir in the ground almonds and the vanilla extract.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly before you add the next one.
  4. Fold in the orange zest, orange juice, polenta, baking powder and salt.
  5. Spoon into the buttered cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a deep golden brown and still a little bit wobbly in the center.
  6. Cool cake in pan about 20 minutes, then loosen sides of pan and finish cooling.
  7. To serve, cut into slices, put a dollop of whipped cream or creme fraiche on top of each piece and drizzle with a little of the Vin Santo or almond liqueur.
  8. Add sliced almonds and a sprinkle of orange zest, if desired.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Source: Jamie Oliver for the Almond Board of California


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