How to make a honey pomegranate polenta cake with the LG NeoChef™

By S.M. Swanson 22.12.2017

a christmas cake made of LG NeoChef

Wow your friends and family with this beautiful polenta cake (they don’t have to know how easy it was with the LG NeoChef™).

Let’s be honest: For many of us in Europe, wintertime can be cold, gray and dreary. Thank goodness for the holidays and all the cheer they bring—not to mention all the delicious holiday food! We have a special holiday recipe developed by Rob Morris here: This honey, pomegranate and pistachio polenta cake with orange drizzle and a cream cheese frosting gives you festive colors, bright flavors, and a Mediterranean twist on a beautiful holiday dessert.

Pomegranate, pistachios, Greek yoghurt, orange, rosemary! Can you taste the sunshine yet?

The batter for this Mediterranean-inspired cake is based on a traditional Italian ingredient: polenta. Polenta made from corn has been eaten in Italy for hundreds of years ever since Christopher Columbus first brought corn back from the Americas. Easy to grow and an easy source of nutrition, it was often considered cucina povera, or peasant food: Simple, rustic and hearty. Today, cucina povera (and polenta) have become extremely popular all over the world. Used in cakes, it can take the place of some or all of the flour content (reducing gluten intake). Plus, it results in a moist, dense cake—paired with the fragrance of rose and the bright citrus of the orange, it’s heavenly—who could say no to that?

Once you have this polenta cake out on the table, you’ll wow your friends and family with your baking skills (they don’t have to know how easy the NeoChef makes it). And yes, we know how crazy the kitchen can get while cooking a big meal for the holidays—especially when you’ve got more than one cook in the kitchen vying for oven space. Fortunately, the LG NeoChef™ is a slick, compact, premium microwave oven that fits into snug spaces but can fit a whole lot inside. You’ll have plenty of space for the cake, and you’ll save time, too. The convection oven will heat the cake to a perfect, even bake and give you a lovely, golden finish on top. You can let the others sweat and and fuss over their dishes.

So let’s take a look at the recipe. A few notes:

On a basic level, this cake is a poke cake, meaning all those holes you poke in the cake will allow every bite to be infused with the syrup’s orange-rosemary goodness, so don’t just daintily dot the top of the cake with shallow holes—get almost down to the bottom. Two, don’t skip this step: Heating the syrup in the NeoChef beforehand helps the rosemary infuse into the orange juice and honey mixture.

Lastly, if you can’t find pomegranate molasses or are just feeling extra ambitious, you can make it by mixing pomegranate juice with a dash of sugar and reducing to a third of its original volume in a pot over low heat.

Let’s get started!

Neo Chef Recipe

Honey, pomegranate and pistachio polenta cake with cream cheese frosting

Ingredients

For the cake

200g runny honey
100ml olive oil
100g Greek yoghurt
100g pistachio nuts, crushed
3 medium eggs
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
zest and juice of an orange
130g polenta
100g self-rising flour


For the syrup

2 tbsp runny honey
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
50ml orange juice


For the cream cheese frosting

100g unsalted butter
75g icing sugar
2 tsp rose water
200g full fat cream cheese
zest and juice of an orange


Tips:

Pomegranate seeds to decorate

You will need a 20cm silicone cake mould

Directions

1. Turn Neo chef to convection cooking @160°C and cook for 50 minutes OR
Turn Neo Chef to convection cooking @180°C and cook for 40 minutes
In a large bowl add the self-rising flour, polenta, and 75g of the chopped pistachio nuts. 

2. Crack in the eggs. Add the Greek yoghurt and orange zest and mix well.
In a large jug or bowl, add the runny honey, olive oil, orange juice and pomegranate molasses, and whisk until combined. Pour this into the polenta bowl and mix everything well.

3. Spoon the batter into the cake mould.
Turn the NeoChef to convection, set the temperature to 180°C and the timer to 40 minutes and cook until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the mold whilst you make the syrup by simply adding the honey, orange juice and rosemary to a small microwavable bowl. Cook for 30 seconds in the microwave on full power. 

4. Using a skewer, pierce the cake all over, pour the hot syrup over the cake and leave to cool completely. Once cooled transfer to a serving plate or cake stand. 

5. Whip the cream cheese using an electric mixer. Add the butter to a large microwavable bowl and heat in the microwave on the lowest setting (200°C) for about 20 seconds until soft but not melted. 

6. Beat the butter until creamy. Now add the icing sugar, orange zest and juice and rose water. Continue beating until light and fluffy. Next add the cream cheese and beat once last time.

7. Pop into the fridge for 10-15 minutes before spreading the frosting all over the cake. Top with the remaining crushed pistachio nuts and pomegranate seeds and serve. 


Life's Good!