This is one of my favourite cakes. The polenta keeps it moist and gives it an unusual texture, while the flavour is quite delightful. Sweet potatoes can be used instead of the carrots, if preferred, and 125ml (4fl oz) of vegetable oil, such as sunflower oil, instead of the margarine.
- Slice the carrots and boil until soft. Weigh out 125g (4oz) of carrots after cooking.
- Dice the dried apricots and simmer in the orange juice until soft. Allow the mixture to cool.
- Place the apricots, orange juice and carrots in a food processor and process until smooth. If you do not have a food processor, mash the ingredients well or press them through a sieve.
- Add the margarine and mix until melted.
- Add the orange and lemon zest, polenta, rice flour, eggs, baking powder and vanilla extract. Process or beat until smooth, adding a little extra water if needed until a soft dropping consistency is obtained.
- Place in a greased and lined 20cm (8in) round sponge tin (cake pan), or a 900g (2lb) loaf tin (pan). Level the surface.
- Bake in a preheated 18o°C (350°F), gas mark 4 oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.
- Allow the cake to stand for 5 minutes then take out of the tin (pan), remove the lining paper and cool on a wire tray. Eat within 3 days or freeze in slices.
- Garnish with berry fruits as desired.