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Image / Living / Food & Drink

Donal Skehan’s spicy and sweet orange polenta cake


By IMAGE
13th Mar 2021
Donal Skehan’s spicy and sweet orange polenta cake

Drizzled in a honey and rosewater syrup, this orange polenta cake is a showstopper without the fuss.

Love the look of this scrummy recipe? Now it’s time to try it! “This fragrant and moist cake is not only visually beautiful, but it also has the most delicious spiced sweet orange and honey flavour,” Donal says. “The cake can be made gluten-free as long as you use a gluten-free baking powder.”

Orange polenta cake
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • Butter, for greasing
  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 225g ground almonds
  • 100g polenta
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • Grated zest of 3 large oranges
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
  • Crème fraîche, to serve


For the syrup

  • Juice of 2 large oranges
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp rosewater


Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4, grease a 20cm diameter springform tin and line the base with baking parchment.

Bash the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and extract the seeds. Next bash the seeds to a fine powder and add to a bowl together with the ground almonds, polenta and baking powder.

Beat the sugar and butter in a bowl until the mixture is light and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Tip the bowl of dry ingredients into this mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Add two-thirds of the orange zest together with the vanilla extract, and fold through.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place it on the middle shelf of the oven to bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Prepare the syrup by placing all the ingredients in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bringing to a steady simmer.

Pierce holes all over the cake with a wooden skewer while it is cooling and pour over half the syrup, a little at a time, until the cake has soaked it up. Sprinkle with the pistachio nuts, drizzle with the remaining syrup and sprinkle with remaining orange zest to decorate.

Serve in slices with a dollop of crème fraîche.