I’m not a food writer, not a cook and as a cinematographer not even vaguely able to tax-deduct cook books. So each time, I really urgently need a cook book, I creep around the shelf with the book for hours. Ah, what am I saying: I sneak around the shop with the book for weeks! Check it on the net for months! – Until I finally snap it in an instant like a tiger its prey.
Last week I did hunt down Yvette van Boven’s Homemade. Finally!
She’s one of the most inspirational writers in the vast field of cooking books, I love the way she picks you up where ever you are, adore how she inspires beginners and cooking buffs, amateurs and pros. I lover her little drawings, the images are a pure delight to look at and you feel the air of Amsterdam, Paris and London oozing out of each and every page, almost like you’re walking there on a mild sunny day in spring.
Which I turned in to Orange Polenta Cupcakes. – I could not resist. Or would you call it Orange Polenta Muffins?! Anyway:
An Orange Polenta Delight!
Juicy and fresh and creamy and sweet. Full of flavor and looking so lovely, you want to have them every day!
Orange Polenta Delights
(inspired by the Orange-Polenta-Tarte from Homemade by Yvette van Boven – makes 12 cupcakes)
for the dough
2 organic oranges
juice of one lemon
100g / 3.5 oz / 0.5 cups polenta
1 tea-spoon baking soda
1 table-spoon vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
100g / 3.5 oz / 1 cup ground almond or almond meal
250g / 8.8 oz / 1 cup (caster) sugar
I added crushed cardamom seeds and cinnamon in the dough
for the topping
2 leaves of leaf gelatine
200ml / 7 oz / 1 cup apricot or other yellow sweet jam
Let the two organic oranges simmer with peel complete and in one bit in a generous amount of water for one hour. Let them sit to cool down completely afterwards.
In a food processor or with a hand blender, grind the oranges together with the lemon juice until you got a smooth puree. Add the polenta, the baking soda and the vanilla extract or vanilla sugar as well as the spices. – I used freshly crushed cardamom seeds and a pinch of cinnamon. Rum might also go well with this dough as a seasoning. I made it for a kids birthday…so no rum for us. But try and let me know what you used and how it turned out.
Preheat the oven on 180° Celsius / 350° Farenheit.
Last not least, add the almond meal. Blend well together. I had to add a bit of liquid at this stage. I used the cooking liquid from the oranges. This way, my dough started to be a bit smoother and softer and less stiff. I added perhaps 3 table spoons of liquid.
Beat the eggs with the sugar until you got a nice foam. Carefully spoon the orange-polenta mass in to the sugar-egg-foam and fold it in, until you got a consistent, nice, even dough.
Line a muffin baking dish for 12 muffins with paper or multi-use silicone cupcake or muffin liners. Add the dough in all 12 liners. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, depending if you prefer it a bit more smooth or rather crisp. I had them 27 minutes in the oven.
Prepare the oranges for the topping: Cut bottom and top from all three oranges. Put the orange on its little cut off bottom side and slice the side peel of all around the orange, so that all the white skin under the peel is gone. Discard the peel (here‘s a great idea what to do with all those citrus fruit peels), collect the juice. Slice the oranges to get nice, thin discs.
After the little cakes have baked and cooled off a bit, take them out of the baking dish and decorate them with the orange discs.
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water. Heat up the jam. If the jam has large fruit junks, pass it through a sieve. Press all water from the gelatine. Add the gelatine leaves to the hot jam and stir. Within not more than 30 seconds the gelatine will dissolve and you make the glazing by spooning the warm jam-gelatine mass over the muffins and orange discs.
Let sit before serving for the orange-jam frosting to coagulate and harden a bit.