Orange and polenta cake

Orange and polenta cake

By
From
Best Kitchen Basics
Serves
4
Photographer
Petrina Tinslay

Google pulled up 1,240,000 results for this cake in 22 seconds. I’m not sure when it became a thing but who knows what is going to go viral these days. The cake recipe is as sound as it is common and I’ve cooked it for 25 years. My version adds a kick with the syrup and Chartreuse chaser. Serve with crème fraîche or natural yoghurt.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 small oranges
5 large eggs
170g caster sugar
170g ground almonds
50g polenta
1 teaspoon baking powder

Syrup

Quantity Ingredient
1 vanilla bean
230g caster sugar
4 cardamom pods
2 star anise
50ml chartreuse

Method

  1. To make the syrup, split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into a small saucepan over medium–low heat – throw in the pod as well. Add the sugar, 250 ml water and the remaining spices. Bring to a gentle simmer, cook for 5 minutes then remove the pan from the heat. Add the Chartreuse and allow to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain into a clean container.
  2. Put the oranges, unpeeled, in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over medium–high heat. Reduce the heat to medium–low, cover and simmer for 1¼ hours until the oranges are very soft. Drain and cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  4. Butter a 24 cm springform cake tin and line the base with a disc of baking paper. Butter the tin again, including the paper, and lightly dust with flour – shake out any excess.
  5. Coarsely chop the boiled oranges, removing any pips, then transfer them to a food processor and purée.
  6. Whisk together the eggs and sugar for 2 minutes. Stir in the ground almonds and polenta and sift in the baking powder. Add the puréed oranges and mix well. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 40–45 minutes until light golden and just firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  7. Transfer the cake to a serving plate and use a skewer to prick it all over. Spoon over some of the syrup and allow it to soak in before adding more. Continue until all the syrup has been used.

Note

  • Any citrus fruit is suitable, but obviously make sure to maintain a similar weight. Two mandarins will a dry cake make.
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