Cornmeal and ground almonds give this cake its structure and great texture without the use of wheat flour. Soaking the cornmeal in hot milk plumps it up, so there isn’t a coarseness you might find in a traditional cornmeal-based cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C) and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
Heat the milk and butter until the butter has melted and pour this over the cornmeal in a large mixing bowl, whisking while adding (it will thicken up quickly.) Whisk in the sugar and add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Stir in the zest.
In a separate bowl, stir the ground almond with the baking powder, salt & cinnamon and add this to the batter, stirring until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
To make the syrup, bring the blood orange juice and sugar to a full boil. While the cake is still hot from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and then spoon the syrup over the cake (it will soak in quickly). Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before serving.
Note: The cake will keep, well-wrapped, at room temperature for 3 days.