Life Recipes

Tuesday 25 June 2019

How to make: Gluten-free Citrus Polenta Cake

Ahead of his appearance at Bloom later this month, master pastry chef Shane Smith shares some sunny baking recipes

Gluten-free Citrus Polenta Cake
Gluten-free Citrus Polenta Cake

Think of the annual Bloom festival and no doubt images of show gardens and floral arrangements come to mind. However, it's not just your green fingers that you can indulge at the event - you can sharpen up your cooking skills, too.

At this year's festival, the Food Village will play host to hundreds of Irish food producers, both well established brands and smaller, artisanal companies. Showing you how to turn your new-found ingredients into tasty dishes will be leading chefs such as Neven Maguire, Catherine Fulvio, Paul Flynn and JP McMahon, who will appear on the Quality Kitchen Stage over the course of the five days.

Among those giving cookery demonstrations will be pastry chef Shane Smith, who will be appearing on Thursday, May 31 at 2.45pm and Saturday, June 2 at 10.30am. Having worked at the likes of the G Hotel and Knockranny House, Shane is a regular on TV3's Sunday AM programme. So, whether you've bought your ingredients or grown them yourself, try his sweet and savoury baking recipes to create a taste of summer.

Gluten-free Citrus Polenta Cake

Serves 8


Selection of citrus fruit

200g Irish unsalted butter

200g caster sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

100g coarse polenta

200g ground almonds

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

Zest of 1 orange

For the soaking syrup:

5 cardamom pods

100g caster sugar

250ml orange juice


1. Preheat your oven to 160°C and line and grease a 20cm loose bottom baking tin and set aside.

2. Slice 2 oranges thinly and arrange on the base of the cake tin.

3. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale in colour, add the eggs one at a time and add the vanilla essence.

4. In another bowl, mix the polenta, almonds, gluten free baking powder and orange zest. Fold this into the butter mix, do not over mix at this point.

5. Spoon this batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown on top and the cake is starting to come away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven, and leave in the tin to cool.

6. When cooling, make the syrup - simply add the crushed cardamom pods, sugar and orange juice to a pot and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Strain and spoon the warm liquid over the cake.

7. This is a very fragile cake so please take care when removing it from the tin. I always put a plate on top and quickly turn over the cake tin as you want your beautiful sliced oranges to be on full show. Best served with a spoon of fresh cream.


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