Monday, October 17, 2011

Orange polenta cake

I first made this cake a few years ago, and have baked it intermittently ever since (whenever my children allow me to make something other than chocolate cake).

I took this cake along to the book group I have just joined (at Blackwell's on South Bridge, in Edinburgh). My cake was finished off almost instantly, which is more than can be said for this month's book - the diaries of Sofia Tolstoy, in which the wife of Lev Tolstoy spends 40 years complaining about her husband.

for the cake batter
2 large oranges
1 cup of strong green tea
6 green cardamom pods
6 eggs
150 g quick-cook polenta
150 g ground almonds
250 g golden caster sugar

for the syrup
1 orange
50 g caster sugar
50 ml water

  1. Place two of the oranges in plenty of water, bring to the boil and simmer for one hour. Drain the oranges, cut into quarters and allow to cool.
  2. Make a cup of strong green tea, and add the cracked cardamom pods to it.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C, and line and grease a springform cake tin.
  4. Peel the orange quarters, remove the pithy centre and any pips, and puree in a food processor.
  5. Transfer the orange puree to a mixing bowl, add the polenta and 50g of cardamom-infused green tea, stir well and leave to sit for 5 minutes or so.
  6. Add the eggs, almonds and caster sugar and beat well. Pour the mixture into the tin, and bake for about 45 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, zest the remaining orange. Make a syrup by heating the caster sugar, zest and water until the sugar is dissolved. Strain through a tea strainer to remove the zest.
  8. Allow the cake to cool before removing from the tin. Prick it all over with a toothpick, and pour the syrup over it.

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