Dani Valent X Sophia’s Kitchen – Orange & Polenta Cake with Dani’s Mango Cardamom Sorbet – Dani Valent

A collaboration with the Thermomix Baking Blogger that leads to cake and ice cream - WIN!

You know when you meet someone and you feel like you already know them? That’s how I felt with Sophia Handschuh, from Sophia’s Kitchen, who hung out and cooked with me a mere 12 hours after she’d tumbled off a long-haul flight from her London home to Melbourne. What a legend! As soon as she arrived with her fiancé Jesse, I felt like I was welcoming an old pal. And the fact that we both cooked in bare feet seemed to cement the friendship.

Sophia’s polenta cake is easy to make and all-too-easy to eat. It’s moist, fragrant, gluten-free and easy to dress up for a party. It goes beautifully with yoghurt or cream but I had an idea for a simple spiced sorbet accompaniment which worked wonderfully too.

As Sophia says, “You won’t believe the incredible aromas and moist texture of this cake…it is definitely an addictive cake to make at home. Orange blossom water really lifts the taste but you could also use a few drops of orange essential oils or orange extract if you can’t find any. You could decorate the cake with some candied orange slices but that is totally optional.” We grabbed rosemary from my garden and dressed it up with that.

Serves: 12
Time: 1 hour, longer to let cake cool



  • 200 grams natural almonds
  • 200 grams unsalted butter, in small cubes
  • 200 grams coconut or demerara sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 100 grams polenta
  • 2 oranges, zest only
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water (or a few drops orange essential oil)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (gluten free, if necessary)


  • 250 grams orange juice
  • 30 grams orange blossom water (or a few drops orange essential oil)
  • 125 grams golden caster or raw sugar
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, stalks removed

Mango & Cardamom Sorbet

  • 50 grams raw sugar
  • 500 grams frozen mango, cubed
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 egg white



1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper and set aside.

2. Place almonds in mixing bowl and grind 10 sec/speed 9. Set aside.

3. Place butter in the mixing bowl and mix 30 sec/speed 5. Scrape down using spatula.

4. Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla bean paste, ground almonds, polenta, orange zest, orange blossom water and baking powder then combine 40 sec/speed 5. You may have to pause halfway through and scrape the mixture down with a spatula to ensure the mixture is fully incorporated.

5. Scrape the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes. Clean mixing bowl.


1. To make the syrup, place the rosemary leaves, orange juice, orange blossom water and sugar in the mixing bowl. Cook 10 min/120°C/speed 1/MC removed. In TM31, cook on Varoma temperature.

2. Carefully remove cake from tin. Turn the cake onto a serving plate and poke holes all over the sponge with a skewer. Drizzle the syrup over the cake using a spoon until it is all used up and soaked in. Ideally, leave to cool and infuse for at least 3 hours before serving. It tastes even better the next day.


1. To make the sorbet, place sugar in mixing bowl and blitz 2 sec/speed 9.

2. Add mango and chop 10 sec/speed 8.

3. Insert Butterfly whisk. Add cardamom and egg white. Whip for 50 sec/speed 4.

Serve immediately with polenta cake.


  • Try driving this sorbet with your ears: that is, listen to the sound of it mixing to determine when all the ingredients are incorporated.


  • Add half a teaspoon of ground cardamom to the cake mixture, or infuse 3 cardamom pods into the syrup.
  • Cake can be garnished with candied orange slices or rosemary branches.
  • Use blanched almonds for a finer textured cake.
  • Use blood oranges for a deeper colour.

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