This is an adapted version of my blood orange polenta cake that I used to make at Gelupo every week. Rhubarb is in season at the moment and it goes beautifully with polenta, orange and almonds. This cake is gluten-free.
100g quick-cook polenta
200g ground almonds
2 tbsp rice flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
zest of 3 oranges
200g soft unsalted butter, cut into cubes
220g unrefined caster sugar
3 medium free-range eggs, beaten lightly together
1 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
Unrefined icing sugar for dusting
For the rhubarb topping:
400g forced pink rhubarb, chopped into 5cm pieces
3 tbsp unrefined caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
Juice of 1 orange
For the syrup:
The leftover juice from the baked rhubarb including the vanilla pod skins
Juice from 2 oranges
1 tbsp unrefined caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Grease and line a 11 inch cake tin with baking parchment.
Measure out the first 5 ingredients into a bowl and mix together. In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar with an electric handheld whisk until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the beaten egg a little at a time whilst also adding in the dry mix until everything is well combined. Lastly add in the orange blossom water and use a spatular to scrape everything into the cake tin and into the oven for 35-40 minutes. Insert a skewer and it should come out fairly clean and leave to cool.
Just before the cake is ready line a tray with baking parchment and add the chopped rhubarb with the sugar, orange juice and seeds from the vanilla pod (including the skins). Mix everything together and place into the oven above the cake for about 10 minutes until they are lightly cooked. Remove from the oven and place the rhubarb pieces onto a plate and save the juice to scrape into a small saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients for the syrup to the pan and bring to the boil and then down to a simmer. Reduce the juice by about half and them remove from the heat. Carefully remove cake from tin and use a cocktail stick to pierce a few small holes in the top of the cake. Pour the warm syrup over the cake and leave to come to room temperature. Dust the top with icing sugar and then arrange the cooled rhubarb pieces on top. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.