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Sicilian Orange-Polenta Cake with Olive Oil

Are you in love with the Mediterranean as I am? I am teaching a class at Bozeman's newest, state-of-the-art gourmet shop, La Cuisine.

When people attend one of my classes, they receive at the end a treat made by me earlier during the day.

Seduction or lagniappe? I say both.


Citrus, citrus, and more citrus, is a key ingredient in Eastern and Western Mediterranean cuisine. Here we use good quality, first pressed olive oil, from my mother's origin, Lucca. We incorporate Greek yoghurt, eggs, and olive oil, and skip the butter.

What better finish that fresh Cara-Cara oranges with an orange glaze?

Ingredients for the Glaze

  • 2 Cara-Cara oranges, peeled, sliced thin

  • 1/4 cup of Orange marmalade

For the Olive Oil Cake

  • Pan spray for the pan

  • 1 1/4 all purpose flour

  • 1 cup semolina flour

  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 1/4 Kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup whole milk Greek Yoghurt

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade

  • Grated zest of 1 orange.

Directions for the Olive Oil Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a spring 9-inch spring cake pan with Pam.

  2. Cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the button of the pan.

  3. Spray the paper with Pan and brush 1/4 cup of the orange marmalade indicated in the glaze ingredient list.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk both flours, baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar.

  5. In a larger bowl, add all of the wet agents, like eggs, yoghurt, olive oil, 1/4 cup of the orange marmalade, and the orange zest.

  6. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, thoroughly.

  7. Pour batter into the orange-marmalade lined pan.

  8. Bake until the middle hardens and a knife comes out clean, about 50 minutes, but can vary depending in your oven.

  9. To serve accompany with a dark expresso, a glass of Prosecco, and always in good company.

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