Orange polenta cake is an unusual cake. Polenta is essentially cornmeal or maize. It has a creamy texture and is popular throughout Italy. The beauty of this recipe lies in its lack of adornment. Yet, despite its plainness, it has a wonderful flavour. It is a great summer afternoon treat and keeps really well in an airtight container for up to a week. The flavour of the rosemary works really well with the orange and the syrup helps the cake to stay moist. For variety, you could try limes or lemons instead of the oranges.
Panna cotta is the Italian for cooked cream. We often have this recipe on the restaurant menu for Sunday lunch as it is light and summery. Rhubarb is currently in season, but I vary this with other berries, usually bought from Pat Clarke in Stamullen. I love making this with champagne rhubarb – the sweetest rhubarb of all. It comes very early in spring and has slim, tender stalks.