Let your head swim

There’ll be po­lenta love in the room with this spiced-up cake

South Burnett Times - - EASY EATING - PURE FOOD with Do­minique Rizzo More at do­mini­quer­izzo.com

ILOVE this cake and the flavour of the ap­ples in­fused with won­der­ful heady spices of cin­na­mon, car­damom and star anise and stained with the golden colours of saf­fron. The po­lenta and al­mond meal base is moist and del­i­cate, mak­ing it a won­der­ful cake for all sea­sons. You can also sub­sti­tute the ap­ples for pears, peaches, plums or what­ever is in sea­son at the time, and feel free to sub­sti­tute the flour for gluten-free flour.

Spiced ap­ple, saf­fron and po­lenta cake Serves 12

INGREDIENTS: 1 cin­na­mon stick 1 star anise 2 car­damom pods 4 cloves Good pinch saf­fron 1 cup sugar 500ml wa­ter Zest and juice of ½ large lemon

¼ tsp orange blos­som wa­ter (op­tional) 8 red de­li­cious ap­ples 3 eggs 150g sugar

½ tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp vanilla essence 50ml orange juice 60ml lemon juice 125ml olive oil 1 cup plain flour 100g fine po­lenta 1 cup al­mond meal 1½ tsp bak­ing pow­der

METHOD: Pre­heat the oven to 180 de­grees. Place all the spices in a large pot with the sugar, wa­ter, orange blos­som wa­ter and lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil over a mod­er­ate tem­per­a­ture. Peel, core and slice the ap­ples and add th­ese to the pot. Bring the liq­uid back to the boil, re­duce the syrup to a sim­mer with the ap­ples and cook for 3 min­utes. Turn off the heat and al­low the ap­ples to sit in the syrup un­til cool.

Mean­while beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla un­til pale and creamy, add the orange, lemon juice and olive oil and beat un­til com­bined. Mix the flour with the po­lenta, al­mond meal and the bak­ing pow­der.

Grad­u­ally add this to the eggs and sugar, com­bin­ing with a spoon un­til it forms a smooth bat­ter.

Line a 24cm spring form tin with bak­ing pa­per and scat­ter ¾ of the ap­ples into the base of the tin. Pour over the bat­ter and spread evenly to cover the ap­ples.

Bake the cake for 45-50 min­utes un­til a skewer comes out clean when in­serted into the cake. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pierce the top with a skewer a cou­ple of times and spoon over some of the syrup. Let the cake cool com­pletely be­fore re­mov­ing from the tin, re­move the re­main­der of the ap­ples from the syrup and bring the syrup back to the boil un­til slightly re­duced. Pour this over the re­main­ing ap­ples and then serve th­ese as gar­nish with the cake. You can add a dol­lop of fresh cream or thick nat­u­ral yogurt, al­though the cake it­self with

the ap­ples is de­li­cious on its own.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Spiced ap­ple, saf­fron and po­lenta cake.

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