An interesting combination of honey, walnut and cardamon in a polenta cake drizzled with a citrusy, sticky syrup. Delicious :) This recipe is inspired by the combination of baklava (a middle eastern/mediterranean sweet) and a Jewish honey cake which is traditionally served at Rosh Hashanah. This cake would make a great after dinner sweet with a black coffee (however I also had it for breakfast this morning - all in the name of recipe testing....?!)
preparation time: 15-20 minutes
cooking time: 20-25 minutes
1 stick butter (at room temperature)
1 cup soft brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup crushed walnuts (this recipe would also work well with crushed pistachios, almonds, or hazlenuts)
1 vanilla pod/1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups fine cornmeal/polenta
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 cardamon pods (seeds removed and crushed- about 1 tsp of seeds)
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
2 tbs honey
1 cup water (or mix of water and orange/lemon juice)
vanilla pod (left over from removing the seeds for the cake mixture)
- add the sugar and butter to a bowl and beat with an electric whisk for about 3-4 minutes - until it is lighter in colour and well combined
- add eggs and milk and whisk until combined - it may curdle but don't worry as that will change when you add the polenta/corn meal
- fold in the cornmeal/polenta, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, crushed walnuts, crushed cardamon seeds and a pinch of salt - mix until just combined - you don't want to over mix as this will produce a heavy cake.
- pour the cake batter into a greased/lined baking dish/tin. I used a rectangular dish approx 10x14 inches.
- smooth over the top of the cake and bake for about 20 minutes until it is golden and feels firm to the touch
- while the cake is baking add all the syrup ingredients together and bring to the boil for about 1 minute - or until the sugar is dissolved. Be careful - hot sugar syrup splashing onto skin NOT good! Carefully take off the heat and leave to one side until the cake is done.