Thursday 9 May 2013

Chocolate Orange Polenta Cake

I made this cake for Easter but it is a great for any occasion - just disregard the mini eggs or decorate with something else.
 Now, this is not my own recipe as I am not the world's best baker. I lack a fundamental quality when it comes to developing baking recipes. Patience!

I found this recipe on the daily mail website and as it is a gluten free recipe using polenta (which I love). The recipe is written by Annie Bell.

It is a delicate cake and breaks quite easily but it came out incredibly well, making a really moist, dense, rich chocolate cake with lovely tones of orange. It is almost more of a desert cake than a sponge.

I've written up the recipe below, or you can click here for the original recipe.


200g unsalted butter, cubed
200g plain chocolate
3 tbsp sieved fresh orange juice
4 medium eggs separated
125g light muscovado sugar
50g polenta
1 heaped tsp GF baking powder
½ tsp salt
Zest of 1 orange
Sunflower oil, for greasing
For the icing-
50g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
50g plain chocolate
50g unsalted butter, cubed
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 20cm loose-bottom cake tin with baking paper and grease the paper and the sides. 

Set a bowl over a pan of simmering water, break up the chocolate and add to the bowl. Melt with the diced butter and orange juice , stirring occasionally until combined

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites into soft peaks using an electric hand whisk, then gradually whisk in half the sugar one tablespoon at a time until you have a slightly stiff, glossy meringue.

In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar for several minutes until pale and doubled in volume. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks, then lightly fold in the polenta, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Fold in the egg whites in two parts. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and give it a couple of taps on the work surface to bring up any large bubbles.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and leave to cool in the tin (it will sink). Remove the cake collar and trim the top (it doesn’t need to be perfect because you will be icing the bottom rather than the top).  Invert the cake on to a serving plate and remove the base and paper.

To make the icing, heat the sugar and orange juice together in a bowl set over a pan containing a little simmering water until completely smooth. Break up the chocolate and add it with the butter to the orange juice and continue to heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until combined. Allow the icing to cool a little before pouring it over the cake and allowing it to trickle down the sides (decorate with mini eggs, if using). Leave to set before serving.

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