Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

It is that time of year again when my neighbour Ros kindly arrives with a bag of fresh walnuts from the tree in her garden - they are delicious and I immediately had to cook with them! Sadly we ate it all before remembering to take a photo!

Orange and Walnut Polenta Cake
Preparation time 30 minutes Cooking time 50 - 60 minutes

Serves 8

55g/2oz/heaped ¼ cup light brown sugar

250g/9oz/1 cup and 1 tbsp/2 sticks plus 1 tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing

2 large oranges

225g/8oz/1 scant cup caster sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

115g/4oz/1 cup ground walnuts

1tsp ground cinnamon

115g/4oz pre cooked grain polenta, cooked according to packet instructions

Grease and line a 23cm/9inch round cake tin. Grate the zest from the oranges and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar and 30g/1oz of the butter and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the caramel syrup over the base of your pie dish. Remove the peel from the oranges and cut the fruit into thick round slices, removing any pips. Place the slices in rings on top of the caramel sauce in the dish and allow the caramel to cool. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180°C/350°F. Using a mixer, mix together remaining 225g/8oz butter and caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs and whisk again. Add the ground walnuts, cinnamon and polenta and whisk again. Spoon the cake batter over the fruit and bake for about 50 - 60 minutes until the cake is firm to touch and a knife comes out clean with no cake batter on it. Allow the cake to cool, then invert onto a serving plate. Serve with cream.


Joanna said...

What a good idea, to use ground walnuts where you'd expect ground almonds. Lovely photograph of walnuts on the tree - we planted a walnut tree on my husband's 50th birthday ... as he's 62 next birthday, I'm starting to think we may get some nuts soon, fingers crossed


Beth said...

This sounds fabulous Hannah

milhan said...


Anonymous said...

I love the sound of this cake. Even better, it's gluten free!