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Recipe from BITTER HONEY, the debut cookbook by Letitia Ann Clark

Recipe from BITTER HONEY, the debut cookbook by Letitia Ann Clark
This is The Perfect Cake. It contains all of my favourite ingredients, and is both fluffy and moist, rich and light. The polenta gives it a pleasing crunchiness at the edges. Otherwise it stays soft and sticky for days, though it is unlikely it will last that long. It is delicious for breakfast with an espresso. Blood oranges look the most striking with their scarlet flesh, but normal oranges will work fine.
This batter will look very runny when it is made, but do not be alarmed. It is all exactly as you planned….

Upside-Down Blood Orange, Ricotta, Polenta and Olive Oil Cake

Serves 8-10

Bottom layer
100g demerara sugar
30ml water
Around 10 slices of blood orange (1 orange and a half) 

100g polenta
150g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
200g caster sugar
250g ricotta
good pinch salt
200ml olive oil
4 eggs
zest and juice of 4 small blood oranges
Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 180. 

Wash the 1 or two oranges for decoration and slice them into thin (2mm) discs with a very sharp knife (you can use a mandoline or a slicer if you have them). I leave the rind on, as when cooked like this it is edible, but if you prefer you can remove it.


Grease and line a medium cake tin. In a small saucepan melt the demerara sugar with the water until it has dissolved. Simmer for a few minutes until the syrup begins to caramelise (you should smell and see the colour change). Pour your syrup over the bottom of the cake tin. Arrange over this the thin slices of blood orange, in a pattern. 


Whisk the oil, sugar, salt, ricotta, citrus juice & zest together. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth. Add in the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake at 180 for 40-50 minutes, until just set.



Letitia Clark is a food writer, illustrator and chef.  Born in Devon, Letitia gained a degree and Masters in English Literature before deciding to pursue her other passion, food, and to train as a chef. She completed the Leith’s diploma in Food and Wine and went on to work in some of London’s top restaurants, including Spring, Morito and The Dock Kitchen. In 2017 she moved from East London to Sardinia, and began writing about food, as well as painting and illustrating. 


In 2017 Letitia visited Sardinia for the first time and fell head over heels for the food and culture. An island where lunch lasts for 5 hours or more, olive oil flows as freely as water, pasta is eaten daily and strong, home-made red wines are drunk with every meal, she knew she had found her place. Her debut cookbook, Bitter Honey, is a celebration of this extraordinary island, its food and its people, and will bring a slice of Sardinian sunshine into your hearts and your homes. 



Letitia wears wears our Diner Denim PolkaPants


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