Zesty Smart Cake

Last summer, when flying back to Amsterdam from Minneapolis, I bought an issue of Woman & Home magazine. What caught my eye was the "101 gluten & dairy free recipes & ideas" and the picture of the mouthwatering cake on the cover.

The cake in question, 'Lemon polenta cake with honey drizzle' is indeed gluten-free but not dairy-free. Among the suggested ingredients: 'baking margarine', 'caster sugar' and 'milk'. What a disappointment. Not very smart eating at all, according to my book!

Besides, the fact that cornmeal is 'gluten-free', the latest research tells us this doesn't make it healthy nor a 'smart pick'.

It was very easy to make the original 'Lemon polenta cake with a honey drizzle, an acceptable choice. I used my Meskouta cake recipe as a base. It is simple and fits the bill perfectly.

You need
•parchment paper
•a round 8 inch (20 cm) spring form pan
•hand mixer

•2 well cleaned oranges
•2,5 cups (250 g) almond meal
•6 eggs
•1 tsp baking powder
•1/2 cup (120 ml) + 6 tbsp of agave nectar
•juice of 2 lemons
•150 g of raspberries
•150 g of blackberries
•mint sprigs for decoration

Baking the cake
•boil the (whole) oranges in water for two hours. Then allow them cool down completely. This might take quite a while. Preferably, let them sit in the empty pan overnight after boiling and disposing of the water.
•preheat the oven to 356F (180C)
•grease the pan and line bottom and sides with parchment paper (cut a round circle for the bottom and then a strip to cover the side. The grease will make the paper stick to the pan).
•whisk the eggs and once they are fluffy start pouring the agave into the mix, while you keep the blender running
•add the oranges and puree them with a blender till they have become one with the egg/orange mixture
•add the baking powder to the almond meal
•add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend well
•pour into the spring form
•bake for approximately 45 min (or until you insert a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean)
•take it out of the oven and allow it to cool down for about 15 min. Then take it out of the spring form, put it on a wire rack.

Lemon syrup
•in a saucepan, put the lemon juice and 6 tbsp of agave nectar; warm up and stir till well combined
•spoon half of the syrup over the cake, while the cake and the syrup are still warm
•once the cake has cooled down, scatter the fruit on top and around the cake
•reheat the rest of the syrup and pour it over the the fruit
•just before serving, decorate with mint leaves

Tips & remarks
•I bake in an electric oven where the heat spreads very evenly. I have baked in a gas oven before and notice that for some reason, there is some 'heat loss'. So I have had to increase the heat in a gas oven by 5C/41F
•I strongly suggest you use organic fruit and mint and that you wash it well before applying it to your cake
•I used the bottom of the cake as the top. The texture is a slightly more grainy texture that soaks up all the zesty syrup more easily.