I made this cake some time ago now and (shock! horror!), took the photos on my old camera- it pains me now to think how much better they would have looked on my swanky new number. But I hope this doesn’t detract from this wonderful, moist tea time treat I adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe. I love baking with polenta and nuts instead of flour- it gives a subtle, nutty flavour and it absorbs moisture incredibly well, particularly the syrup used here. I can also trick myself into thinking it is more virtuous than a cake made from white flour. Enjoy with a middle eastern twist- some sliced oranges and mint, maybe drizzled with a little orange flower water if you have it to hand.
Orange and honey polenta cake
You will need:
220g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
3 large eggs
150g polenta (the quick cook variety is best)
1 tsp baking powder
zest and juice of 1 orange
For the syrup:
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 oranges
4 tbsp honey
1. Line the base of a non-stick, loose-bottomed cake tin (20cm diameter will do nicely) with a piece of baking parchment. Set the oven at 180C/Gas 4.
2. Beat the butter and sugar in a food mixer till light and fluffy. Add the almonds.
3. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat them lightly with a fork, then add to the mixture.
4. Mix the polenta and baking powder, then fold into the mixture, together with the grated orange zest and juice.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 30 minutes, turn down the heat to 160C/gas 3 for a further 25 -30 minutes or until the cake is firm. If it begins to burn or caramelise a bit on top, cover with tinfoil.
6. To make the syrup, squeeze the lemon and orange juice into a pan, bring to the boil and dissolve in the honey. Bubble away for about 5 minutes until you have a syrup.
7. Spike holes into the top of the cake (still warm and in its tin)with a skewer then spoon over the hot citrus syrup. Leave to cool before transferring from the tin. Serve in thick slices with thinly sliced fresh oranges and a little mint.
|Goodbye, Stockholm. Hello, Archipelago.|
|Mormor’s chocolate cake.|
|On Mormor’s balcony|
|Time for some coffee and cake in the archipelago town of Vaxholm|
|Cake at Hembygdsgården, Vaxholm|
|The streets of Vaxholm|
|Picking berries- rasp and blue|
|A-foraging we will go|
|Breakfast on the back porch.|
|Blackcurrants in the garden|
|Crepes with blackcurrant jam and crepes|
|Afternoon tea on the veranda. The view.|
|A slice of princess cake- sponge, jam, custard, cream and green almond paste. What’s not to love?|
|Burgers and beer on the jetty.|
|Crayfish party in the local park|
|Old timer band take to the bandstand.|
This is a gorgeously moist, very simple loaf cake that is just the thing to accompany a cuppa. It’s a bit of a contemporary, lighter twist on the traditional fruit cake, with retro glacé cherries sitting, gleaming, in the moist sponge. I know they are a bit marmitey (you either love them or…), but I had quite a lot of glacé cherries left over from making mincemeat and this is the ideal way to use them up. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all those currants and raisins…
Cherry and almond cake
You will need:
150g glace cherries
175g self-raising flour
160g butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 drops vanilla essence
70g ground almonds
4 tbsp milk
A small loaf tine, lined and buttered.
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C/gas mark 3. Halve the cherries. Some may prefer to give them a quick rinse under the tap to get rid of some of the syrupy stickyness. Either way, toss them in some flour to give them a protective coat.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs and add them to the mixture, along with the vanilla.
Fold in the flour and the almonds before adding the cherries and milk.
Pour the batter into our loaf tin and bake for about 1/2-3/4 hour, until a cake-tester comes out clean. Don’t go off and watch the news and forget about it as I did, so that it burns a bit.
Leave to cool before tucking in. Good with a glass of cold milk or dunked into hot tea.
There is a glut of clementines about at the moment. Every shop I go into, every fruit and veg stall I pass, there they are in gargantuan, abundant piles. Often accompanied by an enormous 2-4-1 sign. This strikes me as surprising, given that I read a while ago that sales of oranges have actually gone down in recent years. Apparently we are too lazy to peel them- we simply can’t be bothered. Perhaps this is because these days we only really know how to use our fingers to text. And, obviously, this ability will soon be replaced with only knowing how to use our thumbs for touch screens. Other fingers will become superfluous.
But, all is not lost because clearly clementines are bucking the trend! The supermarkets would have you believe that they are immensely popular, even this time of year, post Christmas. The problem becomes what to do with them when you don’t have a stocking to put them in anymore.
I’ve been looking at ways to use up ours and decided to whizz up this Clementine Cake, created by Rangemaster’s home economist Alison Trinder, brought to my attention by the ACHICA website. ‘This wonderfully moist and tangy cake is very easy to make and perfect for fan ovens,’ is how it was described. ‘Gentle, consistent heat ensures that the cake will cook evenly and retain essential moisture for an irresistible afternoon treat.’ All very well put, Alison. And I would agree, it is a joyful cake, with almost Caribbean zest and zeal (just look at the colour! Only really very slightly enhanced in post-production, I can assure you. Sort of.) Having said that, the cake was a bit too much of a faff for me. I enjoyed eating it, as did my boyfriend, flatmate and colleagues (it makes for a mighty big cake). However, I wouldn’t say that all the different component-y, bit-y stages (separating the eggs, whisking the whites, grating the rest, making the syrup from x many clementines, using the pulp from y, etc, etc.) was necessarily worth it. Just my opinion. But give it a go. Tell me what you think.
Clementine, Yogurt and Polenta Cake
12 seedless clementines, satsumas or tangerines
450g/16oz caster sugar
200g/7oz butter, softened plus a little for greasing
the grated zest of 1 lemon
3 medium sized eggs, separated
300g/10oz ground almonds
100g/4oz polenta or semolina
150ml pot of natural yogurt
1. Melt 250g of the sugar in a small pan with 330ml of boiling water, bring to the boil and reduce the heat to simmer.
2. Meanwhile, thinly slice five of the fruits horizontally, discarding the ends. Add the slices to the pan with the sugar and water. Cover and simmer until the skin of the fruit is tender – this will take about 20 minutes.
3. Grease and base line a 25cm/10″ loose bottomed tin. Remove the fruit slices from the pan when tender, and arrange as neatly as possible over the base of the cake tin.
4. Grate the zest from the seven remaining fruits and put to one side.
5. Squeeze the juice from four and stir into the syrup. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until thick. Allow to cool.
6. Mix the remaining 200g sugar with the softened butter, lemon zest and the set aside zest. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
7. Peel the three remaining fruits, removing as much pith as possible, and whiz in a food processor until pulpy. Add the fruit pulp to the cake mixture with the almonds, polenta and yogurt. Then whisk the egg whites until stiff and gently fold in to the mixture.
8. Carefully spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and place into a pre-heated oven 160ºC Fan oven, 170ºC Conventional oven, Gas 4.
9. Bake until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour, when the cake will be golden brown and risen. Cool the cake in the tin.
To serve: Invert the cake on to a serving plate, spoon over some of the syrup to glaze the fruit slices. Serve with cream, ice-cream or crème fraiche and the remaining syrup.
- Roughly chop the onion, celery and pumpkin flesh and put in a heavy pan.
- Add chili, garlic, spices salt and pepper and the chicken stock. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before stirring in the peanutbutter. Blend with a stick blender or in food processor.
- When you want to serve it, dice the chicken into neat cubes and add to the soup. Gently reheat and taste to season when hot. Do not let boil.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F or Gas mark 4)
- Heat about half the butter in a large casserole dish and fry the sausage pieces until brown and caramelised
- Add the rest of the butter and the chopped onions. Fry until softened before adding the minced garlic and chopped sage.
- Add the pumpkin and stir well until combined. Increase the heat and add the vinegar, let it bubble and evaporate.
- Add the tomatoes, beans and stock before seasoning.
- Bring this to the boil and then transfer to the oven for up to one hour, until the sausages are cooked through and the pumpkin is tender.
- Serve in hearty bowls, scatter with parsley. Enjoy next to a roaring fire.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180C. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and celery and cook until softened. Remove from the pan and put in a large casserole dish or large pot. Add the lardoons to the pan and cook until golden. Add to the pot.
- Add a little extra oil (or butter if you prefer), to the pan and brown the chicken pieces all over, seasoning as you go.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and pour in the cider, scraping any crispy bits that have stuck to the pan.
- Arrange the chicken pieces in the pot, so they sit on top of the onions, celery and lardoons. Add the cider juices and the chicken stock and sprinkle with half the chopped sage. Cover with a lid and bake for 50 minutes.
- Add the apple slices, rest of the sage and stir in the crème fraiche. Cook uncovered for another 20 or so minutes, until the juices of the chicken run clear.
- To serve, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with rice or mash and a simple green salad or perhaps some tenderstem broccoli.
- Preheat your oven to 170C or 325F, Gas mark3. Then grease a 20cm (8in) spring-form cake tin (or the closest thing you have) with about 20 g of the softened butter. Also add a dusting of flour (40g)
- First off, make your crumble topping. Sift 70g of the flour with the cinnamon before adding 40g of the cold, diced butter. Use your fingertips to rub the ingredients together until you’ve got a breadcrumb-like mixture. Stir in the light brown sugar and then set to one side.
- Use an electric whisk to cream the remaining 60g of softened butter and the caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing thoroughly.
- Sift together140g of flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add about half of this mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, followed by half the milk. Mix well with your electric whisk, then repeat with the remaining flour mixture and milk.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles ontop of the batter, then sprinkle with the crumb topping to form an even layer.
- Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 min, until it is golden brown on top and a skewer or knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Set aside to cool before removing from the tin. Can be enjoyed warm or cold, with crème fraiche, whipped cream, ice cream or custard. Or all of the above.