Tonight on RTÉ One, Neven Maguire visits San Sebastian whilst on his food trails. The chef whips up a number of delicious recipes including this flourless orange and almond cake with rosemary syrup.


They don’t come much simpler than this unusual cake. Its crumb is textured and scented. Its beauty lies in its lack of adornment - yet for all its plainness, it has a wonderful flavour. It also keeps really well in an airtight container for up to a week - the rosemary syrup helping it to stay moist. 

  • 225g (8oz) butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 225g (8oz) ground almonds
  • 100g (4oz) polenta (ground cornmeal or semolina)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
  • finely grated rind of 2 large oranges
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Rosemary Syrup:

  • juice of 2 large oranges
  • 100g (4oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus extra sprigs to decorate
  • raspberries and thick Greek yoghurt, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), Gas mark 4 and grease a 20cm (8in) loose-bottomed round cake tin and line with parchment paper. Put the butter and caster sugar in a bowl and using an electric hand-held mixer, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then fold in the orange rind and vanilla.
  2. Put the almonds in a separate bowl with the polenta or semolina and baking powder and stir to combine. Then using a plastic spatula, fold into the egg mixture using as few stirs as possible to keep the cake nice and light.
  3. Transfer to the prepared cake tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer placed in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Begin making the rosemary syrup about 15 minutes before the cake is ready.
  4. Put the orange juice in a pan with the brown sugar and place over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the rosemary sprigs, then turn up the heat and boil it for about 5 minutes or until the syrup has thickened and reduced slightly. Set aside until needed.
  5. Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and carefully remove it from the tin and put it on a cake stand or serving plate. Then whilst it is still hot, brush all over the top and sides with the rosemary syrup. Really be generous with it so that the cake is soft, sticky and well soaked.
  6. Any remaining syrup can be served separately with the cake.To serve, cut the cake into slices and arrange on plates. Scatter around the raspberries and drizzle around some more of the rosemary syrup. Add dollops of yoghurt and decorate with rosemary sprigs.