In the kitchen with Jeff Osaka, chef of twelve
Lori Midson

In the kitchen with Jeff Osaka, chef of twelve

Jeff Osaka, chef/owner of twelve, and the center of this week's compelling Chef and Tell interview, changes his menu monthly, hence the restaurant's name. The January board trumpets foie gras and pork belly, Colorado lamb and a vegetarian paella and several sugar-laced finales, including Osaka's orange polenta cake, the recipe for which he shares here.

Orange Polenta Cake with Blood Orange Syrup and Crème Fraiche

Makes one 9-inch round cake; serve 8-10

1 stick unsalted butter, softened ½ cup sour cream (low or non-fat yogurt can be substituted to cut down on fat) 1 cup superfine granulated sugar 5 large eggs 2 large oranges, zested and juiced 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup quick-cooking polenta 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in the middle. 2. Lightly butter a 9-inch round cake pan 3. In a mixer, with whisk attachment, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Turn off mixer, add sour cream, orange juice and zest. 4. Turn mixer on low and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 5. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. With mixer at low speed, fold in polenta and flour mixture into egg mixture until just combined. 6. Pour into prepared cake pan, place on sheet pan and bake for about 45 minutes. (Test doneness by inserting a toothpick until it comes out clean.)

Blood Orange Syrup

3 cups blood orange juice 9 teaspoons sugar 1 ½ teaspoons zest of a blood orange

Stir all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil until syrup is reduced by half (1-1/2 cups), about 20 minutes. Refrigerate until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated for up to a week.

Sweetened Crème Fraiche

1 cup crème fraîche 1 teaspoon powdered sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine crème fraiche, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip to soft peaks. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use

When ready to serve cake, drizzle slices with blood orange syrup and crème fraîche.

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