Try baking this luscious cake in a cast-iron skillet, though a 10-inch ovenproof skillet works just as well!
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Stone-ground yellow cornmeal replaces traditional wheat flour for an interesting change in texture and flavor.
By using the fewest egg yolks possible — without compromising taste — we’ve kept the saturated fat and cholesterol in this decadent dessert to a minimum.
1 large thin-skinned orange, such as Valencia
1/4 cup sugar
Polenta cake layer
2 tablespoons skim milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/2-ounce package active dry yeast
2 large eggs, separated, plus 2 additional large egg whites
2 tablespoons trans-free margarine
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Wash the orange. Cut off and discard the ends. Cut the orange crosswise into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Remove any seeds. Place in skillet, add 1/4 cup water and sprinkle with sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, gently stirring to keep the fruit from sticking. Cook until the liquid is almost gone and the orange slices are carmelized. With a fork, move the orange slices into an attractive pattern at the bottom of the skillet.
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk until warm but not hot. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the yeast. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the 2 egg yolks, the remaining sugar and the margarine until pale yellow and thick. Add the orange zest and vanilla; mix well. Sift the cornmeal into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in the yeast mixture, which should now be frothy.
- In a clean bowl, beat all 4 egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Stir 1/3 of the beaten whites into the cornmeal mixture. Carefully fold in the remaining whites. Spoon the batter in dollops over the oranges slices in the skillet. Smooth the top.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Run a knife between the sides of the skillet and the cake. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Hold a flat serving plate over the skillet and invert the cake. Serve while still warm.
NOTE: If you can’t find a Valencia orange in your market, substitute a navel orange and peel it before slicing.
Nutritional information (per serving)
Makes 8 servings
Calories: 150 (18% calories from fat)
Total fat: 3 g total fat
Saturated fat: 0.5 g
Protein: 4 g
Carbohydrate: 26 g
Dietary fiber: 1 g
Cholesterol: 55 mg
Sodium: 60 mg
Potassium: 130 mg
Source: Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook (© 2007 Broadway Books).