How to make honey polenta cakes
2 2/3 cups almond meal
3/4 cup instant polenta
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
300g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 Tbsp honey
4 free-range eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp finely grated orange zest
Finely chopped pistachios and crème fraîche, to serve
CANDIED ORANGE SLICES AND SYRUP
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 oranges, thinly sliced
1/4 bunch thyme sprigs
For the Candied orange slices and syrup, combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low, add orange slices and thyme. Cover with a piece of baking paper trimmed to the size of the pan, and simmer for 1 hour. Turn off heat and allow oranges to cool for 2 hours in infused syrup before removing and reserving syrup.
Preheat oven to 170°C fan-forced (190°C conventional). Lightly grease an 8-hole (180ml capacity) individual small loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, combine almond meal, polenta, cardamom and baking powder. Whisk with a fork to loosen. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and honey on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in dry ingredients in two batches. Fold in vanilla and zest.
Divide mixture among the holes of the loaf pan until three-quarters full. Smooth tops to level. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked. Pierce each cake several times with a skewer. Drizzle over half of the syrup to absorb. Cool cakes completely in pan.
Remove cakes from pan. Serve with orange slices, pistachios, crème fraîche and remaining syrup. ite