Summer Orange & Rosewater Polenta Cake
Inspired by the flavours of Morocco, a combination of polenta and ground almonds ensures this cake holds on to every last drop of the rosewater and honey syrup that’s poured over it. Perfect for enjoying on a warm summer’s afternoon, the cake looks beautiful when scattered with vibrant green pistachios and rose petals.
For the cake:
225g golden caster sugar
225g ground almonds
225g softened unsalted butter
3 large eggs
10 cardamom pods
1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
grated zest of three oranges (juice retained for the syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the syrup:
3 tsp rosewater
3 tbsp honey juice of 2 oranges
Dried rose petals and 50g chopped pistachio nuts to decorate.
Preheat the oven to 180C Fan / Gas Mark 4.
Line the bottom of a 20cm spring form cake tin, lightly greasing the sides.
Extract the seeds from the cardamom pods by giving them a gentle bash with a rolling pin. Add the seeds to a pestle and mortar and grind them into a fine powder.
Add the powder to the almonds, polenta and baking powder in a bowl and combine.
In a separate bowl beat the sugar and butter until creamy, then add the eggs one by one, combing between.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold together, taking care not to over mix. Add the vanilla essence and almost all of the orange zest, reserving just enough to decorate with at the end.
Pour the cake mixture into the tin and place in the oven for 40 minutes, but begin checking from 30 minutes, inserting a skewer into the cake until it comes out clean.
When cooked, transfer the cake (still in its tin) to a cooling rack. Whilst it cools, add the honey, orange juice and rosewater to a pan and bring to a simmer.
When the honey has dissolved into the juice mixture, take off the heat.
Using a small wooden skewer, pierce holes into the cake and pour over the syrup letting it seep into the holes. Retain some syrup for drizzling over once the cake has cooled.
Once cooled, scatter with the chopped pistachios and rose petals. Drizzle each slice with the remaining syrup and serve.
With special thanks to interiors writer and stylist @_millergrey for creating our summer recipes series.