An orange, polenta and almond cake topped with a fresh orange syrup and a thin coating of sweet dark chocolate.
I guess this is like an easier diet-be-damned version of the whole orange cake. But it’s got a lot more flavour to it. It doesn’t use whole oranges, just the zest and juice. I added in some lemon juice to the cake batter to try and sharpen the orange taste but actually it’s the orange syrup you pour over the baked cake that gives this a strong orange taste.
A few years ago I used to buy packaged single slices of cake. You could get either a gingerbread one or one that was plain sponge with grated orange and chocolate mixed through. I loved the taste of both of them.
I’ve found lots of recipes for gingerbread but the orange and chocolate speckled sponge recipes has not been so easy to find.
When I came across this recipe for orange and rosemary polenta cake I wondered what it would taste like with chocolate rather than rosemary. But it uses only eggs and sugar with the polenta and ground almonds, and I was worried it would be far too dry. I don’t know what sort of fat they used in those packaged slices but they were very moist.
Then I came across this recipe for lemon polenta cake which uses eggs and butter. So I decided to make a sort of mash-up of the two cakes – as well as replacing the rosemary with chocolate.
Finally, I decided to not include triple sec in the syrup. I don’t think it tastes strongly enough of orange to make enough of a difference. I don’t have any Grand Marnier or Cointreau. And also I thought it might be nice to not have to tag the recipe contains alcohol. So I opted to use this fresh orange syrup recipe – except I halved the amounts and boiled it down to a syrup.
In a way it’s kinda like a gluten-free jaffa cake cake – but only kinda. The base isn’t an airy sponge. It’s more like a very buttery, crumbly pound cake with lots of orange flavour. But the orange syrup covered top with the thin coating of dark chocolate is very reminiscent of a jaffa cake.
Oh and I added orange zest and grated chocolate to the cake batter. I’m not sure it really makes that much difference – but this tastes quite good so I’ll leave them in.
Also, I did add a small sprinkle of cinnamon to the cake batter but I didn’t include it in the recipe.It didn’t seem needed in the end.