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Chocolate and orange polenta cake


Serves: 12
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:
Chocolate and orange polenta cake
Recipe photograph by Mike English

Chocolate and orange polenta cake

This is a great alternative to Christmas cake. Two layers of orangey polenta cake are sandwiched with coffee buttercream and a whipped dark chocolate filling, and it's gluten free too!

Serves: 12
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
864Kcal
Fat
57gr
Saturates
29gr
Carbs
76gr
Sugars
65gr
Fibre
1gr
Protein
11gr
Salt
0.7gr

Liam Charles

Liam Charles

Liam Charles won everyone over with his cheeky personality when he starred on 2017's Great British Bake Off. Since then he's written a book, Cheeky Treats (Hodder, £20), and now has his own baking show on Channel 4. 
See more of Liam Charles’s recipes
Liam Charles

Liam Charles

Liam Charles won everyone over with his cheeky personality when he starred on 2017's Great British Bake Off. Since then he's written a book, Cheeky Treats (Hodder, £20), and now has his own baking show on Channel 4. 
See more of Liam Charles’s recipes

Ingredients

For the orange polenta cake
  • 250g soft unsalted butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 150g polenta
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • zest of 3 oranges
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
For the ganache filling
  • 200ml double cream
  • 150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into chunks
  • zest of ½ orange
For the coffee buttercream
  • 200g soft unsalted butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp cold coffee (instant’s fine)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
To decorate
  • 50g candied orange peel, finely sliced, or strips of orange zest tossed in sugar
  • cocoa powder, to dust
  • gold or silver edible glitter spray, optional

Step by step

Get ahead
Keeps for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3. Grease and line 2 x 20cm cake tins with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Crack the eggs in one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the almonds, polenta, baking powder, orange zest and juice, and mix.
  4. Divide evenly between the cake tins and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 10-15 minutes in the tins before turning out onto a wire rack.
  5. For the ganache, pour the cream into a saucepan and place over a low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Place the chocolate in a large bowl and pour the hot cream over the top. Leave to melt for a few minutes, then add the orange zest and stir until it has a glossy and smooth consistency. Leave on one side to cool completely. Once cool, whisk on a medium to high speed, until light brown and whipped.
  6. For the buttercream, put the butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until light and pale in colour. Sift the icing sugar into a separate bowl, then add it to the butter in 3 stages, beating after each addition. Add the coffee and vanilla to loosen the buttercream and give it one more mix.
  7. Use a cake leveller or sharp knife to trim the top off both cakes so they are level. Spread a small amount of buttercream on a board that is slightly bigger than your sponges and place your first layer of sponge on top. Place that board on a turntable, if you have one.
  8. Place a third of the buttercream in a piping bag with a plain round-tipped nozzle (about 1.5-2cm wide). Pipe a buttercream border around the edge of the first layer of cake, then fill the centre with all your chocolate ganache, then place the second sponge upside down on top.
  9. Using a palette knife or cake scraper and a turntable, coat the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of the buttercream until it’s covered. Chill the cake in the fridge for at least an hour to set.
  10. Apply another thicker layer of buttercream around and on top of the cake, then pipe a circle of buttercream in the centre and fill it with piped buttercream kisses. Decorate with some candied peep and give it a dusting of cocoa powder and glitter spray, if you like.

    Recipe adapted from Cheeky Treats by Liam Charles (Hodder, £20)

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