zoom Martha Collison's mixed peel polenta cake

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    Martha Collison's polenta cake

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    Martha Collison's polenta cake

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 15 minutes to 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 50 minutes to 55 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes 60 minutes 15 minutes

    Serves: 10


    225g butter, softened
    225g caster sugar
    3 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs
    200g ground almonds
    100g polenta or cornmeal
    1 tsp baking powder
    Finely grated zest 1 orange
    75g mixed peel

    For the syrup
    3 tbsp caster sugar
    1 orange, juiced

    For the sugared peel
    25g mixed peel
    1 tsp granulated sugar


    1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm loose-bottomed tin with baking parchment.

    2. Cream together the butter and sugar using an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Stir in the dry ingredients and beat until smooth, then fold in the orange zest and mixed peel.

    3. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface, place on a baking tray. Bake for 50-55 minutes until risen and fairly firm (it will have a very slight wobble in the middle). Test the cake using a skewer – it should come out clean when inserted into the centre.

    4. While the cake is baking, make the orange syrup. Place the sugar and juice of the orange into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. When the cake is baked, remove from the oven and, while still hot, brush the warm syrup all over it, then leave to cool completely on a wire rack. The cake may sink slightly in the centre, but this is normal for polenta cakes.

    5. To finish, make the sugared peel by shaking together the candied mixed peel and granulated sugar in a sealed ziplock bag until well coated. Sprinkle over the top of the cake, then serve generous slices as a delicious dessert.

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