Claire Clark’s Chocolate Pomegranate Cake

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Pomegranates are grown throughout Israel and are used in many different dishes, including cakes such as this. The chocolate is in the icing rather than the cake itself, making for a great contrast of chocolate and spice. Serve with creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt as a dessert.

Ingredients
For the cake:
330g plain flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
245ml buttermilk
2 medium eggs
270g dark soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
150g treacle
100g unsalted butter, melted

For the syrup:
180ml pomegranate juice
170g caster sugar
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1/2 teaspoon rosewater

For the chocolate glaze:
20g unsalted butter, diced
120ml double cream
125g dark chocolate, finely chopped

To decorate:
1 large pomegranate, seeds

Method
1 Heat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin or a petal cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
2 Sift the flour, ginger, cardamom and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Make a deep well in the centre, add the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, molasses, treacle and melted butter and whisk until smooth.
3 Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
4 To make the syrup, put the pomegranate juice, sugar and cardamom in a small pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the rosewater. Pass through a fine sieve.
5 Allow the syrup to cool slightly, then pour it over the cake in the tin. Leave in the tin for about 15 minutes before turning it out.
6 To make the glaze, put the butter and cream into a small pan and bring to the boil. Pour over the chocolate in a bowl and leave for I minute, then whisk gently to make a shiny glaze. Pour the glaze immediately over the cake and push it to the sides with a spatula, allowing it to fall over the edges slightly. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds.

Recipe courtesy of Claire Clark’s 80 Cakes Around the World.

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