Honey Polenta Cake

As you may have noticed episode 4 is missing, that’s because I just wasn’t feeling it, none of the recipes really urged me to want to create something so I basically just skipped it. I know, I know, but I’m ok with things being a little off course so hopefully you are too.

Last weeks episode from the Great British Bake Off was “Alternative Ingredients”, so the bakers had to bake sugar free cakes, gluten free pitta breads and dairy free ice-cream rolls. I really wanted to make this Honey and Grapefruit cake by Tamal as it just sounded so intriguing. The sweetness comes from Honey in the cake and Maple syrup in the icing, which i absolutely loved. It is such a beautifully balanced cake with a lot of moisture and somewhat reminds me of super split ice-creams

This cake has a few different components to it, but if you work through them accordingly you can fly through it all. If you wanted to skip any of the steps I might recommend the candied peel, but that might be just because I really don’t like candied peel and find it a little but unnecessary.

polenta cake

This recipe is adapted from BBC recipes by Tamal


200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing tins
150g ground almonds
70g polenta
80g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
140g honey
1 large red grapefruit, zest only
2 large free-range eggs

Citrus syrup
200g red grapefruit juice
200g orange juice
160g honey

Candied peel
1 red grapefruit
1 orange

Maple cream
100g maple syryp
250g marscapone

Begin by preheating the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3. Line the base of a deep 20cm/8in round tin with baking parchment and grease with butter.

Combine the almonds, polenta, flour and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and set aside. In a free-standing mixer, beat the butter until smooth, then add the honey and grapefruit zest. Gradually beat in the eggs and set aside dry ingredients (polenta, flour etc). Pour the batter into the tin and bake for approximately 30 minutes.

For the citrus syrup, mix the grapefruit and orange juice and honey in a saucepan and heat gently until the honey has melted. Bring to the boil and simmer until temp reaches 105C on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat.

Once the cake is baked, set it aside to cool. Prick the surface of the cake with a skewer and drizzle with half the citrus syrup. This will make it lovely and moist inside so it’s a good idea to not skip this part.

For the candied peel, boil a kettle full of water. Use a potato peeler to remove slices of the citrus fruit skin. Don’t worry too much about what kind of lengths you have the strips, it’s not important.

Add the peel to a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove the peel and discard the water. Repeat this process twice until the bitterness has been removed from the peel. Add the remaining citrus syrup to a saucepan. Add the peel and cook for 5-10 minutes until translucent. Set aside to cool.

For the maple cream, heat the maple syrup in a small pan and boil until reduced by half. Be careful not to burn it (as I did and had to start it again) Set aside to cool. Beat the mascarpone until smooth, then add the reduced maple syrup.

To assemble the cake, cover with the maple cream and arrange the candied peel on top.

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