I was asked in a thread on oil-based cakes to paraphrase this recipe of J Oliver's ... since the thread was last wk I thought I'd post it here so the person who requested it would be sure to see it.
Having made it last Sat for the 5th time I can attest to its absolute deliciousness. Extremely easy and keeps well too.
Boil 1 lb 2 oz beets till soft, then cool and peel. Puree in a food processor.
Oven at 350 degrees.
Mix in a bowl the puree, 2 2-inch pieces of ginger finely chopped (I like to add a bit more ginger than this --- and I've also used unsweeted crystallized ginger as well), 3 large egg yolks (save the whites), 5 1/2 oz. honey, 6 oz olive oil, and the seeds from one vanilla bean. Then stir in 2 heaping tsp baking powder, 3 1/2 oz polenta, the zest and juice from one orange, hefty pinches each of salt, allspice, and cinammon, 5 1/2 oz flour.
In another bowl beat the egg whites till they hold stiff peaks and then slowly fold into the beet mixture.
It all goes into a greased and floured 9 or 10-inch cake tin. Bake it till spongy, about 35 minutes, and cake tester comes out clean.
Serve with creme fraiche mixed with a bit of vanilla or more vanilla pod seeds, a bit of fine sugar, and (optional) vin santo or Marsala.