Love the look of this scrummy recipe? Now it’s time to try it! “This fragrant and moist cake is not only visually beautiful, it also has the most delicious spiced sweet orange and honey flavor,” Donal says. “The cake can be made gluten-free as long as you use a gluten-free baking powder.”
Butter, for greasing
8 green cardamom pods
225g ground almonds
1 heaped tsp baking powder
225g caster sugar
225g butter, softened
3 large eggs
Grated zest of 3 large oranges
1tsp vanilla extract
50g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
Créme fraïche, to serve
For the syrup
Juice of 2 large oranges
3 tbsp honey
2 tsp rosewater
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), Gas Mark 4, grease a 20cm diameter springform tin and line the base with baking parchment.
Bash the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and extract the seeds. Next bash the seeds to a fine powder and add to a bowl together with the ground almonds, polenta and baking powder.
Beat the sugar and butter in a bowl until the mixture is light and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Tip the bowl of dry ingredients into this mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Add two-thirds of the orange zest together with the vanilla extract, and fold through.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place it on the middle shelf of the oven to bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Prepare the syrup by placing all the ingredients in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bringing to a steady simmer.
Pierce holes all over the cake with a wooden skewer while it is cooling and pour over half the syrup, a little at a time, until the cake has soaked it up. Sprinkle with the pistachio nuts, drizzle with the remaining syrup and sprinkle with remaining orange zest to decorate.
Serve in slices with a dollop of crème fraïche.