Chocolate-orange polenta cake

(Originally from Some UK newspaper?)

Serves: ??? (1x20cm cake)

Keywords: dessert, cake



  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Have ready a 20cm loose-bottom cake tin about 9cm deep. Butter the cake tin, line the base with baking paper and butter this too. Break up the chocolate and melt with the diced butter and orange juice in a bowl set over a pan containing a little simmering water, stirring occasionally until amalgamated and smooth.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites into soft peaks using an electric hand whisk, then gradually whisk in half the sugar 1 tbsp at a time, whisking for about 20 seconds with each addition, until you have a slightly stiff, glossy meringue.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar for several minutes until pale and doubled in volume. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks, then lightly fold in the polenta, baking powder, salt and orange juice. Fold in the egg whites in two goes. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and give it a couple of taps on the work surface to bring up any large bubbles.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and leave to cool in the tin, when it will sink a little. Remove the cake collar and trim the top (it doesn’t need to be perfect because you will be icing the bottom rather than the top) Invert the cake on to a serving plate and remove the base and paper.
  5. To make the icing, heat the sugar and orange juice together in a bowl set over a pan containing a little simmering water until completely smooth. Break up the chocolate and add it with the butter to the orange juice and continue to heat, whisking until glossy and blended. Allow the icing to cool in the bowl.
  6. Either trickle the icing over the cop of the cake, so that it runs down the sides, or leave it to set a little more and then spread it on sculpting the surface. Leave to set completely for a couple of hours. The cake will keep well in an airtight container for several days.