POMEGRANATE MOLASSES CAKE WITH LABNEH FROSTING
“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
For the cake
3/4 cup (175 g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (175 g) superfine/caster sugar
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
- 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.
- To make the cake, melt the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan, and then transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.
- 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.
- 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.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- 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.