Tag Archives: pomegranate

upside-down pomegranate cake

3 Nov

More post! Lucky me. A black and white postcard of Clint Eastwood, and an envelope full of recipe cuttings. Something about having a paper copy is instantly more appealing to me. It makes me want to run to the kitchen, prop the recipe up in the toaster but still manage to smudge it with butter.

Digression. I like post and paper and also pomegranates. (Things beginning with P.) Apart from adding a jewelled touch to fancy salads, pomegranates have never seemed to me an obvious ingredient for baking. They are pretty on their own, red seeds hiding in the hard orb. Like pistachios, the pleasure comes in cracking them open and popping out the insides.

The picture for this recipe really showed off the fruit: a sparkling ruby slipper-made-cake. A layer of pomegranate seeds that melded into a buttery yellow cake with the help of a deep red caramel. It tastes just as it sounds. The cake itself is dense and rich with butter, just a touch of vanilla, the caramel-pomegranate top sweet but tangy.

We had it for afternoon tea, still warm. It was admired all round.

And now, a pomegranate peeling tip pinched from Smitten Kitchen (this is clearly a day for Ps): fill a clean sink with cold water. Score the pomegranate skin as if you were going to cut it in quarters, but just pull it apart with your hands and let it fall into the water. Crumble the seeds gently to separate and remove the inner membranes. The latter will float to the top and the seeds will sink. Scoop out the floating debris with a sieve and chuck out. Then scoop out and drain the seeds.

That was too many words for a simple concept. You get the idea: no explosions of scarlet pomegranate juice, no seeds squashed in the cutting. No fiddling.

Just like this cake, no fuss, delicious reward.

Upside-down pomegranate cake

from a French magazine of which I only have the initials CWF; they recommend POM juice or to halve a pomegranate and squeeze it like an orange

1 large pomegranate

for the caramel: 

150g sugar

100ml pomegranate juice

1 tsp lemon juice

for the cake: 

150g butter, melted

3 eggs

120g sugar

150g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

Heat the oven to 180C. Melt the butter in it at the same time if you are being efficient.  Grease a large round cake tin and line it with baking paper.

Peel and de-seed your pomegranate. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the sugar and pomegranate juice to a boil. Let it bubble away merrily for 5 minutes or so, until you only just start to smell caramel. (The colour is deceptive because of the juice.) Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and tip into the cake tin. Swirl to coat the bottom evenly. Sprinkle your pomegranate seeds on top.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and pale. Sift the flour and baking powder and stir into eggs, with melted butter (not too hot) and vanilla. When smooth, pour into tin to cover caramel/pomegranate seeds.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. When the cake has risen, come away from the sides of the pan and turned a nice golden-yellow, you should be done. Check with a skewer. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge, place a plate over it and turn upside down. Peel off the paper, replace any stray seeds.

Serve with crème fraîche or sour cream to balance the rich texture. Still good kept in a tin at least 3 days later. (I cannot verify further for it is All Gone.)

party food : desserts

13 Nov

To go with the tea and rum, a colourful selection of miniature desserts: classic carrot cake with a neon turmeric icing, pomegranate and grapefruit jellies with vanilla pannacotta and chocolate peanut butter spiral cookies.

Warm spices in the cupcakes: cloves  and cinnamon and the slightest hint of turmeric. A classic chocolate peanut combination for cookie lovers. And tart fruit jelly, smooth vanilla cream in a shot glass. Portable and pretty.


Carrot cupcakes with turmeric icing

Make up the basic recipe as mini cupcakes. Add 1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric to icing and beat well until bright yellow. Pipe a star shaped blob onto cupcakes and top with a hazelnut.

Pomegranate and grapefruit jellies

The night before, make a small batch of pannacotta. Allow to cool, then half-fill shot glasses and refrigerate. Heat 500ml grapefruit juice with 2 tbsp sugar. Add gelatine (amounts vary according to type, see packet for instructions), leave to partially set. When a little wobbly, spoon onto pannacotta, sprinkling some pomegranate seeds inside and on top of the jelly.

Chocolate peanut butter spiral cookies

Recipe wholeheartedly lifted from here. Make and roll out two colours of cookie dough, then roll up again togetherfor a zebra effect. Very pretty effect, but next time I would dip the bottoms in dark chocolate for a little more intensity.

birthday pomegranate

1 Nov

Two consecutive days off work. A quick train ride home and a whole night’s sleep.

For breakfast, banana porridge with pistachios and pomegranate seeds. Next to my plate, a round parcel tied up with blue ribbon: a glossy pomegranate just for me.

What else do you need in life?

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