Polenta is cornmeal boiled into a porridge and usually eaten baked, fried or grilled. It is the not-so-secret ingredient in this moist cake with amaretto soaked oranges.
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups instant polenta
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 large navel oranges (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1/4 cup amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur)
1 tablespoon sugar
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place toasted almonds in a food processor, and process until ground; set aside.
Place 1 cup sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in lemon rind and juice.
Combine ground almonds, polenta, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add egg mixture, and stir until well blended. Pour batter into an 8-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
While cake cools, cut peel and pith away from oranges using a sharp knife. Cut oranges crosswise into 1/4-inch slices; cut each slice into quarters. Combine oranges, amaretto, and 1 tablespoon sugar, stirring gently until sugar dissolves.
Cut cake into 8 wedges. Spoon oranges and syrup over cake.
Note: Substitute 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, and 1 tablespoon sugar for the amaretto, if desired.