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Pomegranate Molasses Cake with Labneh Frosting

A recipe by
Servings8

"The first time I came across pomegranate molasses, I was expecting it to be incredibly sweet and as bright in color as the jewel-like seeds. What
 I found instead was a deep, dark syrup with an intense sour flavour and
 hint of sweetness.

I was excited to experiment and explore how using molasses differed from fresh pomegranates. After throwing a few splashes into a cake batter, I was pleasantly surprised with the results: a sweet, sharp flavour that sat well with the creamy, strained yogurt topping."

Reprinted with permission from The New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Holly Wulff Petersen 

Ingredients

  • For the cake
  • 3/4 cup (175 g) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (175 g) superfine/caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tbsp (38 ml) pomegranate molasses
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 11/4 cups (150 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • For the topping
  • 11/2 cups (350 ml) labneh
  • 2 tbsp (15 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a deep, round 8-inch (20-cm) cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. To make the cake, melt the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan, and then transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time before stirring in the pomegranate molasses, orange zest and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until fully combined.
  4. Stir in the buttermilk before pouring into the prepared pan and baking for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the topping, mix together the labneh, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Spoon it generously on top of the cake and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds.

Tip: Labneh is a Middle Eastern soft cream cheese made from strained yogurt. If you can’t find it, you can make a substitute by adding Greek yogurt and a pinch of salt to a colander lined with muslin or a clean tea towel set over a bowl. Tie it up, secure with an elastic band and place it in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours before unwrapping and using. 

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