If you don't have a pestle and mortar you can pop the cardamom seeds in a zip lock bag and bash with a rolling pin.
Equipment: 20cm springform tin
- 225g caster sugar
- 225g butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 8 green cardamom pods
- 200g ground almonds
- 100g polenta
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- zest of 2 oranges
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp rosewater
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 100ml cream
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp rosewater
- 50g pomegranate seeds
- 25g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
- 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.
- Add the 200g of sugar and water to a large saucepan and bring to the boil, simmer for 1-2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and add the orange slices. Simmer for 15 minutes until a little softened. Arrange in the base of the tin, starting in the centre, slightly overlapping the slices and working your way out to the outside.
- Beat the 225g 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. Bash the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and extract the seeds. Then bash the seeds to a fine powder and add to the butter, sugar mix along with the ground almonds, zest and polenta and stir gently to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, place it on the middle shelf of the oven to bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack until almost fully cooled.
- Prepare the syrup by placing the saucepan back over a over a medium heat, stir in the 2 tsp rosewater and bring to a steady simmer. Simmer for 5-6 minutes until slightly reduced.
- Once the cake has cooled turn out onto a stand, pour over the syrup and leave to cool completely.
- When the cake has cooled completely whisk together the marscarpone, cream, honey and 1 tbsp rosewater until soft peaks form.
- Serve on plates with a dollop of the rose marscarpone, sprinkle with the pistachio nuts, pomegranate seeds, and drizzle with any of the remaining syrup.