Wow your Christmas guests by serving humble cornmeal cakes that are dressed-up with ground almonds, orange peel, and a lavish champagne-syrup.
- Makes: 12 servings
- Prep: 30 mins
- Bake: 30 mins 325°F
- Cool: 10 mins
cups polenta cornmeal or yellow cornmeal
cup all-purpose flour
teaspoons baking powder
cups unsalted butter, softened
cup orange juice
cups finely ground almonds
tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
cups champagne or sparkling wine
Orange marmalade (optional)
Shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
Thin orange peel strips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour twelve 1-cup individual tube pans or 4-inch muffin cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 2 cups sugar; beat until well mixed. Add eggs, beat until combined. Beat in orange juice (mixture may appear curdled). Beat in cornmeal mixture just until combined. Fold in ground almonds and orange peel.
- Spoon batter into prepared pans (about 2/3 cup batter in each). Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine champagne and the 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1 cup.
- Remove cakes from pans. Transfer cakes to a large platter, placing cakes bottom sides up. Prick cakes with toothpick. Carefully spoon or brush champagne mixture over cakes. Immediately cover cakes with plastic wrap; cool completely.
- Serve cakes at room temperature. If desired, serve with orange marmalade and Parmesan cheese. If desired, garnish with orange peel strips. Makes 12 servings.
From the Test Kitchen
To Bake Ahead:
Cool cakes, cover, and store at room temperature for up to 4 hours.
Nutrition Facts (Orange-Champagne Cakes)
- 715 kcal cal.;
- 44 g Fat, total;
- 170 mg chol.;
- 18 g sat. fat;
- 67 g carb.;
- 6 g fiber;
- 13 g pro.;
- 104 mg sodium;
- 121 mg calcium;
- 11 mg vit. C;
- 923 IU vit. A;
- 3 mg iron
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet