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Orange and Polenta Cake

Jane's Ideas for Christmas Presents

This cake is quite dense and satisfying. Children, and in fact people of all ages, just love it. It's very presentable to look at so will do for a 'bit of a do' and it is suitable for those who have to avoid gluten. It will keep in the fridge for 5 days and it will freeze.


Butter for greasing

2 large oranges

6 x large eggs

150g polenta (maize flour)

150g ground almonds

250g golden castor sugar

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp demerara sugar

For the orange drizzle

100g caster sugar

3 tbsp orange liquer or a squeezed & strained orange

1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves

grated zest of 1 orange

  1. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin. Put the whole oranges in a large pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour, until soft. Remove, cool, then halve and remove the pips'
  2. Preheat the oven to 180'C / gas mk 4. whizz the orange halves, with the skin, to a puree in a food processor. Beat in the eggs, polenta, almonds, sugar and rosemary.
  3. Pour into the tin and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Bake for one hour until the cake is risen and golden.
  4. For the drizzle, dissolve the sugar in 50 ml water in a pan. Boil for 5 minutes but don't let it colour. Remove from the heat and cool briefly. Add the liquer or orange, rosemary and zest.
  5. Cool the cake in the tin until tepid, then turn out and drizzle with the syrup.



Jane's Idea for Christmas Presents

I am working in a school at the moment and the food teacher has a great idea which the children make and then take home for Christmas presents...  or I imagine they just eat them


Christmas Cake in a Tuna Tin

Clean out a used tuna tin with bicarb and boiling water. Use it as a cake tin for Christmas cake. Scale your favourite recipe down to 150g flour and all the other ingredients in ratio to this, per tin. Wrap some greaseproof and  newspaper round each tin with string and bake for 40 mins on reglo 4. You can do several tins at once and decorate imaginatively as you would for a large cake.