Chocolate and Orange Polenta Cake

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    8–10

Appears in

100 Desserts to Die For

100 Desserts to Die For

By Trish Deseine

Published 2020

  • About
30 Mins Preparation Time
45 Mins Cooking Time
1 Hr Refrigeration Time

This rich and dense cake, with its chocolate ganache and orange icing is quite simply a ‘killer’. Forgive me if there is a bit more washing up than usual, but this rather sophisticated cake is worth the trouble.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 200 g (7 oz) very good quality dark chocolate
  • 100 g ( oz) unsalted butter
  • 100 g ( oz) lightly salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (without pulp)
  • 4 eggs
  • 125 g ( oz) demerara sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 50 g ( oz) instant polenta
  • Grated zest of 1 orange

For the icing:

  • 50 g ( oz/¼ cup) demerara sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 100 g ( oz) dark chocolate
  • 75 g ( oz) unsalted butter
  • Candied oranges or clementines

Method

MAKE THE CAKE. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Butter and flour a round cake tin, 20 cm (8 inch) in diameter and 10 cm (4 inches) deep (straight-sided if possible).

PLACE THE CHOCOLATE, BUTTERS AND ORANGE JUICE IN A MIXING BOWL, THEN MELT THEM TOGETHER IN A MICROWAVE OR IN A DOUBLE BOILER (PLACING THE MIXING BOWL OVER A SAUCEPAN OF GENTLY SIMMERING WATER). Stir the mixture to make it smooth.

SEPARATE THE EGGS. Beat the egg whites to peaks with an electric beater, gradually adding half of the demerara sugar to make a firm and glossy meringue.

IN ANOTHER MIXING BOWL, BEAT THE EGG YOLKS WITH THE REST OF THE DEMERARA SUGAR UNTIL THE MIXTURE IS PALE AND MOUSSE-LIKE. Gradually add the melted butter mixture, then the baking powder, polenta and orange zest. Finally, using a spatula, gently fold in the meringue.

POUR THE BATTER INTO THE TIN AND BAKE THE CAKE FOR 40–45 MINUTES. When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool completely in the tin.

MAKE THE ICING. Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and heat them in a microwave or double boiler (in a mixing bowl placed over a saucepan of gently simmering water). Stir the mixture until smooth, then let it cool and thicken slightly.

UNMOULD THE CAKE, RUNNING THE BLADE OF A KNIFE AROUND THE SIDE OF THE TIN TO MAKE THIS EASIER, THEN COVER THE CAKE WITH ICING. Place the cake in the fridge for 1 hour to set the icing.

DECORATE THE CAKE WITH PIECES OF CANDIED ORANGE OR CLEMENTINE BEFORE SERVING.