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Polenta, pistachio and fig cake



200g unsalted butter, organic if possible (at room temperature), plus extra for buttering the tin

200g brown sugar

3 large organic, free-range eggs

100 g ground almonds

100 g pistachios, ground

100 g fine polenta

Zest of 2 oranges

Zest of 1 lime

2 tsp lime juice

1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

8 figs, ripe


For the Syrup


5 cardamom pods, seeds only

250 ml orange juice (from 3-4 oranges)

30 ml orange blossom water, optional

1 large sprig coriander

A few pink or black peppercorns

Zest of one lime

125 g golden caster sugar



Preheat the oven to 160°C. Butter a 20cm springform tin, line the bottom and sides with baking parchment and butter again.


Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and creamy.


Beat in the eggs, one after the other.


Add the ground almonds and ground pistachios, the polenta, orange and lime zest, orange blossom water and baking powder, and stir.


Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50 - 60 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown and the cake is coming away slightly from the sides of the tin. 


Cut the figs into quarters.


Remove cake from oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes, then slide it onto a plate. It’s a little delicate, so take care.


To make the syrup, put all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, or until reduced and syrupy. Set aside to cool.


Poke the cake all over with a skewer and drizzle with the syrup.

Arrange the cut figs all over, as artily as you please.


I serve the cake with thick Greek yoghurt, a jug of syrup by the side.

Do note that though the cake can be made in advance, once you’ve added the figs, it should be eaten soon.

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