Sunday, 19 January 2014

Orange,Pistachio & Polenta Cake # Gluten free

This must be one of my all time favourite cake. The basic recipe was given to me by a Greek lady who used to work in my studio many moons ago and I recently came across it among the pages of an old cook book while on the look out for another recipe altogether. The Greeks particularly enjoy their sweet treats and their cakes always feature seasonal produce such as fruits and nuts, and many are topped with a honey or citrus fruit syrup that creates an irresistibly soft and moist texture. I have tweaked this recipe many times over the years, using various combination of fruits & spices. So use this as a basic recipe and change the flavours to go with moods and fashions and it's gluten free too ....
With value in mind , I have sourced all ingredients from LIDL.

Prices are as of 19.01.2014 from Lidl. Ireland.
  • 1 pkt of Dairy Manor unsalted butter, 227 grms @ €1.49
  • 220 grms of  Fair trade Caster Sugar, 1kg pkt @ €1.09
  • 200 grms of Ground almonds, @ €1.99
  • 100 grms of pistachios,1 kg @€10.99
  • 3 large eggs, 10@ €1.7
  • juice of 1 orange
  • grated zest of 2 oranges, 1kg@ €1.79
From your larder:
  • 200 grms of Polenta
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cardamon or cinnamon or nutmeg or cloves
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
For the Citrus Syrup :
  • 50 grms of sugar or greek honey
  • juice of 1 lemon, 3 @ €.99
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 50 ml of water
Bring all of the above to a boil and allow to boil for 3-4 mins until it starts to thicken.

Method :
Pre - heat your oven to 180 c & Line a loose based 20 cm round cake tin with parchment paper.
Place the pistachio in a bag and crush coarsely with a rolling pin.

Using a hand -held electric whisk,cream the soft butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time . Add the juice and grated zest of the oranges, followed by the ground almonds, baking powder, pistachios and polenta . Mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40 - 45 mins, until well risen and  golden brown.
Test with a skewer , which should come out clean when inserted in the centre.
Prick the top of the cake all over with the skewer and spoon over the hot syrup.Allow the cake to stand in the tin for 5 mins. Place on a cooling rack and carefully remove the outer ring and allow to cool before serving.

To Decorate :
In a bowl, mix 100 grms of icing sugar with 1 tsp of lemon juice and 2-3 tsp of water to make a soft icing. Drizzle over the cake and sprinkle over with some whole pistachios and candied orange peel and a dusting of icing sugar...........

kalí̱ ygeía ... Good Health !

Variations :
use Apricots,Figs, Pears, Blueberry,Lemons, Limes

Tagged:  baling- cakes- polenta- orange- pistachio- gluten free

©2012-2014;Robert Jacob;jacob'scrackers;jacobscrackers9; All rights reserved



  1. Yum this cake sounds incredible! Definitely will have to try this

    1. Please do , it is very simple and straight forward and you can tailor fruit & spices to your own taste or what is available in your larder. A great way to use up left over polenta,semolina & nuts.