Orange, polenta and olive oil cake with whipped mascarpone and thyme

Orange, polenta and olive oil cake with whipped mascarpone and thyme

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1
Preheat an oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Place 2 of the oranges in a saucepan of cold water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until soft and tender. Drain the oranges, place in a blender and blitz until smooth
2
Grease and line a 23cm cake tin. Sprinkle 10g of the caster sugar over the base of the tin, then peel the remaining 3 oranges. Remove as much white pith as possible from the segments, then use a sharp knife to cut the fruit into even slices through the centre (removing any seeds you come across). Layer these orange slices in the tin on top of the sugar, then set aside
3
Mix the polenta, baking powder, almonds and caster sugar in a bowl and then whisk in the eggs, followed by the olive oil and orange purée. Once the mixture is nice and smooth, pour it into the tin on top of the orange slices
4
Place the cake in the oven and cook for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool for at least an hour before turning out
5
While the cake cools, whisk together the mascarpone, icing sugar and half the picked thyme leaves
6
Serve slices of the cake with the mascarpone on the side and more thyme sprinkled over
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