Orange and pomegranate cake

Orange and pomegranate cakeTHIS is an incredibly easy Middle Eastern cake – the only tricky aspect may be to find pomegranate molasses in the Eastern Cape. Try Woolworths, which does sell it, or make your own. You still need to find pomegranates, though!

The cake is very, very moist, so be careful when moving it onto a plate. It serves eight.

INGREDIENTS:
For the cake:
50g wholemeal breadcrumbs
100g ground almonds
175g soft light brown sugar
2 tsp baking-powder
finely grated zest of 1½ oranges
215ml olive oil, plus more for the tin
4 eggs, lightly beaten

For the syrup:
juice of 1 orange
100ml pomegranate juice (pure juice, not “pomegranate juice drink”)
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoon runny honey

To serve: seeds from ½ pomegranate

METHOD:

Mix together the breadcrumbs, almonds, sugar and baking-powder. Add the zest, 215ml olive oil and eggs, and stir well.

Pour the batter into an oiled cake tin 20cm in diameter. Put it into a cold oven and set the heat to 190°C. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake has browned and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile, gently heat all the syrup ingredients together. Stir a little until the honey has melted, then increase the heat and simmer for five minutes. You should end up with about 100ml of syrup.

When the cake is cooked, pierce the surface all over and slowly pour on the syrup, allowing it to sink in. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

It will sink a little in the middle, but don’t worry – this makes a lovely dip in which the pomegranate seeds can lie. Scatter the seeds on top just before serving.

To make pomegranate molasses: add 500ml cups pomegranate juice, 75ml lime (or lemon) juice and 100g golden caster sugar to a pan, stir and bring to the boil. Simmer until reduced by two thirds. Transfer to a container and cool – the molasses will thicken further as it cools.

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