Tag Archives: cake

Whole Wheat Angel Food Cake

15 Jul

whole wheat angel food cake

I’m off to Seattle tomorrow.  Yay!  A real city with real food.  Anyway, I can’t think of anything to write right now and I have to pack.  So sue me! Continue reading


Blood Orange Polenta Upside-Down Cake

23 Feb

The family and I got home late last Sunday from a wedding in Solvang.   Happily, I found my new March 2010 issue of Bon Appetit waiting for me in the mail pile.  I have a strange habit of reading magazines from back to front or randomly as the subscription inserts dictate so the first page I opened to had a gorgeous picture of their Blood Orange Polenta Upside-Down Cake with Whipped Creme Fraiche.   Ok, so the picture looks great but honestly, blood oranges with peel on?  On a cake?  That sounds suspect.  Actually, it sounds awful.  Naturally, I must try it!

Last night I went to Henry’s to hunt down some blood oranges.  All they had were these beasts that look like they came straight out of the Jurassic period – I was hoping for something a little more ladylike.  I bought ’em anyway but I think I’m going to try again at Albertsons or Vons (my only other options).  Fingers crossed.  Anyhoozle, I’ll update with pics and a scathing review.

A couple days later…

Work lead me to the aptly named Orange County which lead me to none other than the elusive WHOLE FOODS.

Blood Oranges Which lead me to none other than the sweet, dainty, Kristin Chenoweth of blood oranges.  [Lame joke alert]  My original blood oranges must have been juicing.  [Groan!]

I think I’m now all set to actually cook the darn thing.  More on that when we return.

The verdict:  Plain and simple, I was right to begin with.
Orange peels do not belong on dessert.  At least not prepared as instructed in this recipe.  The polenta cake and whipped creme fraiche were very tasty once you remove the oranges.  My only complaint with the polenta cake was that some of the polenta didn’t cook entirely so there was a bit of grit to contend with (maybe a more finely ground polenta would work better).  The oranges tasted like an exteremely sour grapefruit in a bad way.  Once removed however, I actually enjoyed the cake.blood orange array

A few details to consider if you are going to try this recipe.  I used a cast iron skillet because it is the only oven safe vessel that I own that is10″ diameter.  While preparing what the recipe called the “caramel” I noticed that the sugar was prone to forming crystals.  I had to make it again because it got so crunchy the first time around.  I’m not sure if the pan choice was to blame.  I’d probably try a stainless steel pan next time around.  I never did achieve what I would consider a caramel.

On a health note, I switched out the all purpose flour for some whole wheat pastry flour.  I’ve found so many ways to sneak whole grains into the family diet and this recipe lends well to whole wheat flour.  Of course, the cake still isn’t a health food but it doesn’t hurt to up the nutritional ante at every given opportunity.

My cake certainly didn’t turn out as pretty as the picture either.  My pan may have been the culprit here too.  Perhaps a smooth sided pan would lend better to a more perfect cake wall.

Blood Orange Polenta Cake I plan to play around with this recipe a bit.  I think it would be great with strawberries.  Perhaps an upside-down shortcake of sorts.  There might even be a way to candy the oranges prior to baking…

It wasn’t perfect and I wouldn’t make it the same way again but I’m glad I tried it.