Wednesday, February 8, 2012

blood orange pistachio polenta cake // the liebster!

blood orange pistachio polenta cake
i am in love
that weightless, nothing in the world matters feeling
with winter citrus

it's the color i so desperately need this time of year
in between winter & spring where everything is gray
its like the scene in mars needs moms - where everything is bleak
and then you have this incredible burst of color

blood oranges are beautiful
cara cara oranges are quite nice too
my entire house is studded with bowls of winter citrus
i can't get enough of it

blood oranges make a beautiful showing in this cake
the perfect pick me up for anyone with the winter blues

blood orange pistachio polenta cake
blood oranges are paired with polenta, ground almonds & olive oil
the makings for a wonderfully moist textural cake

blood orange pistachio polenta cakeblood orange pistachio polenta cake

blood orange pistachio polenta cake
sifted with a bit of all spice for a little added warmth

blood orange pistachio polenta cake
ground pistachios are added to the topping -
making a delightful, slightly caramelized exterior
the color is quite pretty too

blood orange pistachio polenta cakeblood orange pistachio polenta cake
this polenta cake is baked much in the same fashion as an upside down cake
next turn around, however, i would remove the rind
it looks pretty, but for some it can be a tad overwhelming
personally, i rather enjoyed the sweet & slightly bitter combination
however, it is not for everyone

blood orange pistachio polenta cake height=
one tip i do have is to please make sure you have allowed your cake
to fully cool once flipped before moving to your serving platter
the polenta cake is super moist and the oranges a bit top heavy

if moved too soon without cooling you are heading into dangerous territory
dangerous, like your cake splitting in half and loosing part of the bottom
while you were trying to quickly move it to your pretty serving plate

maybe i did this, maybe i didn't
i am not admitting to anything here

blood orange pistachio polenta cakeblood orange pistachio polenta cake

blood orange pistachio polenta cake

the color is amazing
tasting even more amazing than the color

a perfect companion to your afternoon tea

blood orange pistachio polenta cakeblood orange pistachio polenta cake
 i interrupt this post for an important announcement
THANK YOU to Maryanne from the little epicurean for nominating Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes for the Liebster Blog Award- this is such a wonderful honor and puts a big smile on my face

Liebster" is German for dearest, favorite, or beloved.  The Liebster Blog Award is sort of a chain letter  among bloggers meant to showcase exceptional up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.  It is a recognition that a fellow blogger has noticed and appreciated your work.

After accepting:
- Thank the Liebster Blog Award Presenter on your blog
- Link back to the blogger who nominated you
- Copy and paste the award on your blog
- Reveal 5 blogs of your choice
- Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog

my five beautiful blog picks:
fork & beans - I love Cara; funny, sincere and all around one of the nicest & best people that i have gotten to know through blogging- if i lived on the west coast we would be bff's, she creates the most amazing gluten free vegan foodie treats i have ever seen
the fig tree: Courtney J is awesome, i feel like i have known her forever; her blog is adorable, recipes amazing and one of my favorite bloggers i follow; beautiful photos too!
cooking weekends: Gerlinde is so amazingly creative - her recipes never fail to make me drool, love her creativity and photos
excuse me i can't stand up: Tuonela's recipes & photos are always mouth watering
she cooks, she gardens: i love Erin's Blog, her blog name represents the two things i love most;
cooking and gardening - her blog is simply charming

please go for a visit to the above blogs and show them some love - they deserve it!

now back to our originally scheduled program

Blood Orange Pistachio Polenta Cake
serves 12

you will need:

for the topping
1-2 blood oranges rind removed, thinly sliced
1 tsp vegan butter
2 tsp demerara sugar
1/4 cup shelled, roasted & salted pistachios, roughly ground

for the cake
1/2 cup softened vegan butter + 1 tsp butter for coating the pan
1/4 cup of finely ground almonds
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup polenta (stone ground cornmeal)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 cup very good olive oil
1/2 cup soy yogurt
1 cup agave or granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

pre-heat oven to 350*

butter a 9-inch round baking pan- line the bottom & sides with parchment paper
butter again

thinly slice the the blood oranges
sprinkle the demerara sugar coating the bottom of the pan
layer the blood orange overlapping if needed (single layer)
sprinkle the ground pistachios over the blood oranges
concentrating on any gaps from the oranges
set aside

in a medium bowl combine ground almonds through all spice
- whisk to combine

in a mixing bowl with paddle attachment mix on high speed olive oil, 1/2 cup softened vegan butter, agave or sugar & soy yogurt until well combined (about 2 minutes)

stir in vanilla & flour mixture until just combined

pour batter into round pan & bake for 30 - 32 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when tested in the center of the cake

remove from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes
invert cake onto a cooling rack or serving plate
 allow to fully cool before moving to a serving plate or prior to cutting




  1. You're right, blood oranges are beautiful - and so is this cake! I love the combination of pistachios and blood oranges.

    Oh, and Cara's a doll, huh? I think she wins everyone over with that charm of hers :) She's even better in person!

    1. Ohmygoodness, it's as if I paid you all to say such sweet things! You are taking my breath away, really. And I *am* better in person, you are right :) haha! So is Ashlae, by the way! Such kissable lips...hahaha, kidding, I'm kidding! <-I'm still laughing

    2. she is quite the charmer isn't she :-)

      I may need to make a special trip to Cali for a Cara and Ashlae visit - baking and stretchy pants included :-)

  2. what an absolutely delicious looking cake! i'm in love with the polenta-pistachio-orange combo! and, it's weird, i don't think i've ever had a blood orange before. i'm thinking i need to try one!

    1. Yes! I am thinking you need to absolutely go to the store this very minute and get yourself a blood orange - they are SO Beautiful!

    2. I've never tried them either, but I agree that they're beautiful on top of that cake! I've been wanting to try making a cornmeal cake for a while too but I haven't gotten around to it yet!

    3. I hope you do try a Polenta Cake Genevieve, I would love to see what you would come up with!

  3. Heather, seriously. WOW. Your words just blew me away. Thank you does not cover it, but THANK YOU for saying that! I wish you lived in Cali (notice how I didn't vice versa the living situation) so we could hang out and you could feed me with all of your beautiful creations! :) <-selfish. So grateful to have met you through blogging!!! When I finally make it out to Maine with Greg, I am definitely calling you up. xo P.S. That cake is INCREDIBLE! Again. Well, you know how I'm a big fan of you...

    1. You are so welcome and it is SO deserved- you are an incredible person and do amazing things with your blog; I wish I lived in sunny Cali at least 6 months out of the year - can you guess which 6 months!

      Um yeah, no brainer :-) if you are ever in Maine you need to absolutely let me know - you rock Cara!

  4. this is such a lovely, dainty cake!

    1. I love that you called this cake dainty - thank you for stopping by!

  5. Awe, thank you so much! You are an incredible sweetie! xoxo
    I am honoured to be mentioned on your blog! :) You made my week.

    Love love love the look & sound of this cake. The pictures are fantastic. The addition of pistachios makes it perfect. Great pops of colour.

    1. You totally deserve this Award-I love your blog and getting to know you too; I hope others love it as much as I do!

      I had so much fun making this cake- LOVE winter citrus!!

  6. i looveeee that pretty blood orange color! and perfect with the pistachios! and all the tips.. can be taken as evidence that at some point you did the deed, else how would you know!:D
    cara is definitely one hyper, uber creative and loveable person!

    1. My lips are sealed - i may just be able to foresee into other peoples foreseable kitchen disasters :-)

      How many times can Heather use a version of foresee in her reply :-)

      Cara is a great girl- she is going to love you described her as hyper!

    2. And congratulations for your liebster.. and i love the interruption and return to the scheduled program:) love all the blogs you passed on the award to!
      i foresee you foreseeing other peoples foreseeable disasters.......
      I think Cara is currently busy with the difficult task of choosing the bake off winners:)

    3. Thanks Richa! It is so fun getting to spread the word about some of the Blogs that I love :)

      Lol- if I could only foresee my foreseable disasters - then I would be onto something!

      Hopefully Cara's Jeans fit after tasting 42 Dessert Recipes - Yikes! Loved your entries for the Bake-Off, you are so talented!

  7. Congratulations on your Liebster.

    And more should totally sell that cake on the street corner. I'd buy it. You'd have a line!

    1. Thanks Jen!

      Its a bit cold to be out on the street corner this time of year in New England! but i would definitely consider becoming a street corner girl during the summer- wait that came out wrong, you know what I mean :)

  8. Lovely flavor blend here! Like you I am loving all the orange citrus variety out there, hard to keep any of those oranges for baking. I have never made a cake with polenta, but this is inspiring. The texture must be amazing! Awesome array of photos here. Great post!

    1. Thank you Tina - between juicing and baking I am lucky to enjoy a bllod orange as just that an Orange! I loved your Blood Orange cupcakes,love seeing what people come up with using seasonal fruits & veggies!

  9. Congratulations my friend - much deserved and what a fabulous cake to celebrate with ;)

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Thanks Uru - I hope school is going well and I am also hoping you have some time to whip up more sweet treats to share with us all!

  10. Gorgeous cake! I completely agree with you that this time of year would be totally awful without the cheeriness of winter citrus. We just launched the all new and February is oranges month (thank god!) If you'd like to link up your recipe, we'd love to have you

    1. Thank you Betsy- what a great site Seasonal Potluck is, I am so happy that you stopped by! I have linked up, there are so many beautiful citrus recips that are super inspiring!

  11. Beautiful post! I love the popping color of blood oranges, and seriously need to find more ways to use them. This cake looks amazing - perhaps just the inspiration I need!

    1. I LOVE the color too - it amazing that color just comes natuaral to the blood orange, it has got to be one of the prettiest fruits around :)

  12. What a gorgeous, delicious cake! Congrats on the Liebster, too!

  13. This looks beautiful! Love the addition of pistachios to it too. Your photos always have great lighting by the way. Can't seem to get mine right! :p

    1. I LOVE Pistachios and the colors together sealed the deal for me :)....your photos are always beautiful - don't be so hard on yourself!

      I am lucky to have great light in my mudroom which is adjacent to the kitchen; best light this time of year for me is between 10am - 3pm :)

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