Ways With Orange Blossom Water – Part 1

Orange Blossom & Cardamom Polenta Cake…

I’m a sucker for a beautiful piece of packaging and Arabica certainly has me hooked on their shelf-worthy herbs and ingredients. So naturally when I saw their orange blossom water at my local M&S, I couldn’t resist popping it into my basket. Having never used it before I was excited to see how I could add a touch of Middle Eastern fragrance to my bakes.

Orange blossom

Perhaps the most obvious place to start was pairing the floral ingredient with oranges (and plenty of ’em) in a zesty polenta cake. With a touch of cardamom in the syrup to balance out the sweetness, the end result is moist cake with a real depth of flavour that transports you to warmer climes. I recommend enjoying the cake with a dollop of crème fraîche and a little extra syrup for a true taste of sunshine!


You’ll need…

200g unsalted butter (plus a bit extra for greasing)

A sprinkle of plain flour

200g Demerara sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp orange blossom water

1tsp vanilla essence

1tsp orange oil

200g ground almonds

100g coarse polenta

2 oranges (for the zest)

1tsp baking powder


For the syrup…

8 cardamom pods

30ml orange blossom water

250ml orange juice (from around 3 oranges)

125g caster sugar

And crème fraîche to serve!


Get started…

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Grease a 20cm springform tin with butter and sprinkle with flour (I prefer this French method of greasing the tin, but feel free to line with greaseproof paper if you’re not as lazy as me!).
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Next beat in the eggs and then stir in the vanilla essence.
  3. In another bowl, add the ground almonds, polenta, orange zest, orange blossom water and baking powder. Stir this into the cake mix.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 45 minutes or until the cake is light brown and coming away slightly from the sides of the tin.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Then carefully turn the cake out onto a plate. 
  6. To make the syrup, crush the cardamom pods, then add with the rest of the syrup ingredients into a saucepan. Simmer over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Set aside to cool.
  7. Prick the cake all over with a fork or skewer, then generously pour over the syrup. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and a dash of the syrup!



2 thoughts on “Ways With Orange Blossom Water – Part 1

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