Blood orange, ricotta and olive oil cake

Blood orange ricotta and olive oil cake

From Bitter Honey: Recipes and Stories from the Island of Sardinia by Letitia Clark.

For the base

  • 1-2 blood oranges
  • 100g sugar

For the batter

  • 200ml olive oil – any kind is good, I used virgin
  • 200g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 250g ricotta
  • Juice and zest of 4 small blood oranges
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g polenta
  • 150g flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 180. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin.

First prepare the base. Wash the oranges and slice them into 2mm discs with a very sharp knife (I used a mandolin). Leave the rind on.

In a small saucepan over a medium heat melt the sugar with 2 tablespoons of water until it has dissolved. Simmer for a few minutes until the syrup begins to caramelise (you should smell and see the colour change to a light amber). Pour your syrup over the bottom of the cake tin. Arrange the slices of blood oranges, as many as will fit in one layer, in a pleasing pattern on top of the syrup.

To make the batter, whisk the oil, sugar, salt, ricotta, citrus juice and zest together in a large mixing bowl. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden and just set.

Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the tin and invert it onto a wire rack or serving plate. Allow to cool completely before slicing.