- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup polenta
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 sticks ( 3/4 pound) unsalted butter, softened
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup orange-flower water (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- Elderflower Crème Anglaise, for serving
- Mixed fresh berries, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 2-quart loaf pan (10 by 5 by 3 inches). In a bowl, sift together the flour, polenta and salt.
- In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the sugar and butter at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until each is incorporated. Add the orange-flower water and orange zest and beat until blended. Mix in the dry ingredients at low speed until thoroughly moistened, scraping the side and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in the center of the oven for about 2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Slice the cake and serve it with the Elderflower Crème Anglaise and fresh berries.
The cake can be wrapped in plastic and stored in an air-tight container for several days.
Orange-flower water is available at Middle Eastern groceries and specialty food shops.
To complete a summer supper, return to something cold and sparkling. No wine is quite as refreshing with dessert as a Moscato d'Asti from Italy.