There is nothing nicer in my opinion than a nice slice of delicious home made cake with your afternoon tea and this one fits the bill perfectly!
It's another recipe from the awesome Lee Watson of TheBeachHouseKitchen and one of the many delicious cakes we sampled on the Vegan Retreat!
Gluten free cakes tend to be more dense and flatter than cakes made with wheat flour, especially when they are also egg free, but with so many folks sensitive to gluten then this cake is a perfect treat without the associated digestive issues!
This cake is Almond and orange but I'm just not a big fan of almond flavour and I detest marzipan! I used to be horrified by those wee baskets of marzipan fruits when I was a kid, just uugh...
However I do love almonds for their texture, flavour, versatility and health benefits, of which there are many so I'm not averse to using flaked almonds as decoration on my cake! If you love almond flavour then go ahead and add almond extract to the cake as well. Seems to be another love it or hate it flavour!
On the other hand, I love oranges and orangey flavour so I added a whole big orange AND some orange extract. On our recent holiday to Portugal there were orange groves everywhere with the most delicious, sweet and largely seedless oranges falling by the roadside! The photo in this post was one of our morning haul of oranges and wild flowers for the table. Foraging for food just makes me happy, delicious food for free and no pesky plastic packaging to dispose of!
Laura made the most delicious wee sponge cakes on holiday with foraged oranges and local honey and eggs. They were neither gluten free nor vegan but they were moist, delicious and just yummy!
I love using local and seasonal ingredients, its so much fun. We also had loads of fresh rosemary growing in our garden and Lee did suggest that dried rosemary would be an interesting flavour to add to this cake, so if anyone tries it could they let me know. 1 teaspoon was the suggested amount!
A few interesting ingredients in this cake you may not have used before in baking. If you are gluten intolerant or coeliac then you may have used gluten free flour, Doves Farm do a good selection but they are quite expensive, in comparison to.......
Gram flour which is made from chickpeas, one of my favourite foods and packed with all sorts of nutritional goodies! Its also known as Besan.
Its really cheap, I bought a 2kg bag from Asda for £2 and its really versatile.
Apart from being gluten free, its extremely high in protein and fibre. 1/2 cup contains 10g protein and 5g fibre.
It has all the associated health benefits of chickpeas, contains calcium and magnesium in perfect ratio, high in folate, essential for healthy pregnancy, loads of B vitamins, iron and selenium along with a good array of other vitamins & minerals, so its definitely worth using!
Here is another way to use it in a Savoury Pancake
The other unusual ingredient in this cake is Polenta which is made from corn and a lovely yellow colour. Its also gluten free and contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals. I also use it instead of breadcrumbs as a crunchy coating on veggie burgers.
Again most supermarkets sell it, mine is from Lidl. make sure you buy the quickcook polenta, not the readymade one which is sold in a block!
The glaze is optional but gives the cake a lovely sheen and makes the flaked almonds stick so fairly essential in my opinion!
This cake has a fairly dense texture so you can serve it with some soya cream or whipped coconut cream to lighten it up!
So here is the recipe Enjoy......
ORANGE & ALMOND POLENTA CAKE
Ingredients - makes 8 to 10 slices
60 g polenta
130g gram flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
large pinch salt
100g light brown sugar
50 ml olive oil (or other mild tasting oil like sunflower)
90 ml non - dairy milk (soya is good)
1 large orange (peeled and blended to a liquid)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract or 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup or honey
1 tablespoon orange juice plus some zest
......your health in your hands.....
🍃 Health educator🍃