Theo Randall's polenta, pistachio and orange cake recipe

Theo Randall's polenta, pistachio and orange cake recipe

Acclaimed chef Theo Randall says of this Italian-inspired recipe: "This is truly a cake for everyone. Made with polenta and olive oil, it is both dairy-free and gluten-free. The syrup really makes a difference here as it keeps the cake moist and juicy. I made this as a birthday cake for my friend Emin. He’s from Turkey so knows a thing or two about syrupy, nutty desserts, and he told me that it was the best cake he had eaten outside of Turkey… I took that as a compliment! Thanks Emin."

Ingredients

For the cake
  • 200 g pistachio kernels, finely ground (use a spice grinder or food processor)
  • 1 orange, just the zest and juice
  • 200 g bramata polenta
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 g runny honey
  • 200 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 7.1 oz pistachio kernels, finely ground (use a spice grinder or food processor)
  • 1 orange, just the zest and juice
  • 7.1 oz bramata polenta
  • 4 eggs
  • 5.3 oz runny honey
  • 7 fl oz extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 7.1 oz pistachio kernels, finely ground (use a spice grinder or food processor)
  • 1 orange, just the zest and juice
  • 7.1 oz bramata polenta
  • 4 eggs
  • 5.3 oz runny honey
  • 0.8 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
For the syrup and decoration
  • 1 orange, just the zest and juice
  • 75 g runny honey
  • 50 g pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
  • 1 orange, just the zest and juice
  • 2.6 oz runny honey
  • 1.8 oz pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
  • 1 orange, just the zest and juice
  • 2.6 oz runny honey
  • 1.8 oz pistachio kernels, roughly chopped

Details

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Recipe Type: Cake
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 40 mins
  • Serves: 8

Step-by-step

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Grease a 24cm (10in) springform cake tin with oil, and line the base with baking paper/parchment. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix the ground pistachios, orange zest and the polenta together. Crack the eggs into another bowl and whisk in the honey, orange juice and olive oil until smooth. 
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and thoroughly combine to a smooth batter, then pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake the cake for 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, then remove the cake from the oven and transfer it to a wire rack to cool in the tin. 
  4. Once the cake is cool, release it from the tin and transfer it to a large plate. 
  5. To make the syrup, stir the orange juice and honey together in a small saucepan. Place the pan over a medium–low heat and bring the ingredients to a simmer, stirring to fully combine. Immediately remove the syrup from the heat. 
  6. Using a fine skewer, prick a few holes into the top of the cake and pour the honey and orange syrup over the top. Sprinkle on the orange zest and pistachios to decorate. 

This recipe is extracted from The Italian Pantry by Theo Randall (Quadrille, £26.00). Photography © Lizzie Mayson.

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