This fragrant and moist cake is not only visually beautiful, it also has the most delicious spiced sweet orange and honey flavour. The cake can be made gluten-free as long as you use a gluten-free baking powder.
- Butter, for greasing
- 8 green cardamom pods
- 225g ground almonds
- 100g polenta
- 1 heaped tsp baking powder
- 225g caster sugar
- 225g butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- Grated zest of 3 large oranges
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
- Crème fraîche, to serve
- For the Syrup
- Juice of 2 large oranges
- 3 tblsp honey
- 2 tsp rosewater
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4 and grease a 20cm diameter springform tin, then line the
- base with baking parchment.
- Bash the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and extract the seeds. Then bash the seeds to a fine powder and add to a bowl together with the ground almonds, polenta and baking powder.
- Beat the sugar and butter in a bowl until the mixture is light and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Tip the bowl of dry ingredients into this mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Add two-thirds of the orange zest together with the vanilla extract, and just fold through.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place it on the middle shelf of the oven to bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Prepare the syrup by placing all the ingredients in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bringing to a steady simmer.
- Pierce holes all over the cake with a wooden skewer while it is cooling and pour over half the syrup, a little at a time, until the cake has soaked it up.
- Sprinkle with the pistachio nuts, drizzle with the remaining syrup and sprinkle with remaining orange zest to decorate. Serve in slices with a little crème fraîche.
More by Donal Skehan:
- Caramelised Banana American Pancakes
- Carrot and Courgette Cake with Rosemary and Orange Crème Fraîche
- Beer Batter Fish Tacos with Cherry Tomato Salsa