When I’m reading articles, magazines and watching cooking videos for inspiration and new techniques, I often come across this classic bake and I’ve been wanting to try it out for a while. The thing is, I’m not keen on orange within cooking so I was always put off making this myself – that was until I tried it at one of my favourite Lebanese restaurants in London – Comptoir Libanais. I was pleasantly surprised at how subtle the orange flavour actually was, so here is my variation on the delicious wheat and gluten free cake.
The thing I love about this cake is how simple it is to make and the moist, dense texture the ground almonds give once baked. If you want a healthy alternative to traditional sponge bases, then definitely give this zesty cake a try! The addition of coconut in the frosting takes the flavour to a new level, complimenting the fruity orange and nutty almonds.
I’m trying out a new 24mm lens here, so do let me know if you like the photo quality a little more!
Serves 8 | Prep: 15mins Cooking: 40mins
For the cake:
• 200g demerera sugar
• 200g unsalted butter
• 150g ground almonds
• 150g fine polenta
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 baking powder
• Zest and juice of one whole orange
For the syrup:
• Juice from half an orange
• 1 tsp demerera sugar
• 2 tsp good quality runny honey
• 1/4 cup cold water
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting:
• 180g tub soft cream cheese
• 1 tsp creamed coconut
• 1 tsp good quality runny honey
• 2 tbsp unsweetened desicated coconut
Step one: Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees. Line and greese a 20cm round tin and set aside.
Step two: In a mixer, blend the sugar and butter for 5 minutes until creamy. Add the eggs one by one.
Step three: Add the polenta, ground almonds and baking soda and whisk until well combined. Grate the orange zest in and add the juice before giving a final mix by hand.
Step four: Pour the mix evenly into the tin and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch.
Step five: In a small saucepan heat the water, orange juice, sugar and honey on a medium heat until reduced and coats the back of a spoon. This should take 3-4 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and set aside until the cake is cooked.
Step six: Whilst the cake is still hot, prick several times with a fork then pour the syrup over the cake and leave to cool.
Step seven: In a small bowl, mix all of the frosting ingredients together until smooth.
Step eight: Smooth the frosting evenly over the cake with a knife and sprinkle with orange zest. Cut into slices and serve cold.