GBBO: Citrus Polenta Cake

Well would you look at that, I’ve caught up to the contestants (just in the nick of time)!


Week 5 of The Great British Bake Off had a theme unfamiliar to Bake Off, and my kitchen, alternative ingredients. 

The options were sugar-free cakes, gluten-free pitta breads, or dairy-free ice cream rolls. Mum explicitly said I was not allowed to buy an ice cream machine to further clutter the kitchen with, but I didn’t really fancy making either of the remaining options. Instead I’ve taken a bit of both and produced a gluten-free cake.
I think ‘gluten-free’ is a bit of fad the whole world is following right now, with more people going gluten-free than those who even know what gluten is. 1 in 100 people in the UK suffer gluten intolerance( For the rest of us, avoiding foods that contain gluten or eating gluten-free foods without reason may cause more harm than good. But don’t let that stop you enjoying this gluten-free adapted Jamie Oliver recipe for Citrus Polenta Cake! 

200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200g unrefined demerara sugar
3 large free range eggs
200g ground almonds
100g course polenta
Zest of 2 oranges
2 teaspoons of grapefruit juice (just use a little from the grapefruit juice for the syrup)
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder (e.g. Dr. Oetker)

For the syrup
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 1 grapefruit
5 cardamom pods, crushed
125 unrefined golden caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Grease and line a 20cm loose bottom or springform tin, also grease the cake facing side of the paper.

Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and creamy – don’t worry if it looks gritty, the sugar will dissolve when it’s cooked. Beat in the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, combine the ground almonds, polenta, orange zest, grapefruit juice and baking powder, then stir this into the wet mix. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, until the surface is light brown and the cake is coming away slightly from the sides of the tin.

Remove the tin from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out the cake. This cake will be quite moist and fragile, so handle it with care.

To make the syrup, put all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to almost boiling, then leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced and thickened slightly. Set aside to cool. 

Prick the cake all over with a skewer, then brush generously with the syrup. Serve in slices. 
Apparently this cake serves 10-12 people, I reckon it serves 3; mum, dad and me.
Harleigh Reid
Harleigh Reid

I write about food and eat a lot.

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