Earthy, nutty flavours with a citrusy twist
Makes 1
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The fragrance of mandarin is joined by polenta and macadamia for a light, fluffy and moist cake that’s best enjoyed with a warm cup of tea.

You can get polenta in Singapore at places like iHerb and Redman.


  • 4 small mandarins (400 g), unpeeled
  • 2 cups (280 g) macadamias
  • 250 g butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (220 g) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (170 g) polenta
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

Cover whole mandarins in medium saucepan with cold water; bring to a boil. Drain then repeat process two more times. Cool mandarins to room temperature.


Preheat oven to moderately slow, 170 C (150 C fan-forced). Grease deep 22 cm round cake pan; line base with baking paper.


Blend or process nuts until mixture forms a coarse meal. Halve mandarins; discard seeds. Blend or process mandarins until pulpy.


Beat butter, extract and caster sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined between additions; transfer to large bowl. Stir in polenta, baking powder, nut meal and mandarin pulp.


Spread mixture into pan; bake about 1 hr. Stand cake 15 mins; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool. Serve cake dusted with sifted icing sugar.

TIP Macadamia nuts have a high fat content and should be kept, covered, in the refrigerator to prevent them becoming rancid. You can blend or process the same weight of other roasted nuts, such as pecans, almonds or walnuts, if you prefer, to use in place of the macadamias. Similarly, you can substitute the same weight of other citrus fruit – grapefruits, blood oranges, tangelos, etc – for the mandarins.


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