Massive apologies for the delay in posting this recipe . But fear not! I am back in the kitchen and fervently baking and typing away. Albeit not at the same time! This recipe certainly seems to have proven popular and many thanks for your patience and enthusiasm in wanting to see the recipe.
So this is part of my #TheGreatBeardedBakeOff recipes and it ties in with the “Alternative Ingredients” challenge. The first challenge of the show was to create a Sugar-Free bake and I instantly knew what I wanted to make. Whilst most of the contestants chose to use syrups and honey to replace the sugar, I was surprised no one chose alternative sweeteners like Xylitol or Stevia? Anytime I need to bake “FreeFrom” bakes, number 1 on my go to list is Xylitol. Derived from the Birch tree it’s a sugar replacement that can be substituted like-for-like for sugar and is suitable for diabetics. In this recipe I hesitate to use the term “Sugar Free” in the title as there is still sugar present from the fruit there’s no sugar added where normally there would be.
I had also recently taken a trip to Borough Market (my goodness how I had missed the place!) and got my hands on some fantastic rose water and orange blossom water from Saveur de Maroc (both products winners of this years Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards). If you haven’t tried these waters then I seriously recommend you do. Highly floral but pure and light, they are distinctly refreshing and lack that acrid, artificial back-note that can be present in some brands of these exotic flavourings. Safe to say these are going to be a permanent fixture in my kitchen. Next on my list is trying their Argan Oil!
Soooo… I digress! My recent purchases provided inspiration for this recipe- a visit to a luxurious souk, the air wafting with the heady smell of oranges; stalls laid out before you abundant with figs and chocolate. You get the scene? And here we are…(did I mention as well as low sugar, it’s also gluten free!)
Chocolate & Orange Polenta Cake with figs and orange blossom glaze
2 large oranges
100g ground almonds
50g good quality cocoa
1 tablespoon good quality chocolate extract, eg Nielsen Massey
4 firm, fresh figs
2 tablespoons xlylitol
1 tablespoon Orange Blossom water, eg Saveur de Maroc
To make the batter
– Prepare a 23cm spring-form cake tin by either greasing or spray with cake release spray, and lining th base.
– Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/ gas 4. Divide the oranges into quarters and blitz them in a food processor, to a pulp.
– Add in the xylitol, eggs, ground almonds and polenta and blitz in the processor until well combined.
– From the processor bowl, ladle half of the cake batter into your prepared tin.
– To the remainder of the cake batter, still in the food processor bowl, add the cocoa and chocolate extract. Replace the lid and blitz until well combined.
– At this point you can place ladlefuls of the chocolate batter into the tin and swirl with the orange batter to create a marbled effect. I prefer to use a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and fill it with the chocolate batter. This allows me to pipe dollops of chocolate batter into the orange batter as well as on top of it. Once you have added the chocolate batter by either method use a skewer to swirl and create the marbled effect.
– Slice the figs into rounds- not too thin. I normally try slicing each fruit into 4 slices. Lay the fig slices on top of the cake in a pattern of your choosing.
– Place the cake tin into your preheating oven and bake for 40 to 45 mins. Check to see that top isn’t charring. Check that the cake is done by using a clean skewer test.
– Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in it’s tin on a wire rack.
– Whilst the cake is cooling, make the glaze by gently heating the xylitol with the orange blossom water. Heat until the xylitol has been dissolved. Leave to cool for 2-3 minutes.
– Gently brush the glaze over the cooling cake, on top of both sponge and fig fruits.
– Once the cake has cooled completely, remove from it’s tin and lining.
– Serve and enjoy! (Ideally with some Moroccan mint tea!)