Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Recipe for Orange, Almond and Pomegranate Cake

A Recipe for Orange, Almond and Pomegranate Cake

This recipe for an orange-almond cake drenched in an orange-pomegranate-honey syrup is dairy-free and full of healthy antioxidants. But you’ll love it for its scrumptious flavor and stunning good looks

By Aleksandra Crapanzano in the Wall Street Journal

THIS ORANGE and almond cake, finished with a syrup of pomegranate molasses, orange juice and honey and a crown of vivid pomegranate seeds, is far and away the healthiest one I make—dairy-free and loaded with antioxidants. It is therefore rather surprising that it’s also a favorite of mine.
I found the recipe in U.K. food writer Diana Henry ’s latest cookbook, “A Change of Appetite: Where Delicious Meets Healthy.” Ms. Henry, I discovered during a recent conversation with her, dislikes healthy cookbooks as much as I do and never imagined writing one. But she noticed that her friends, in their effort to be mindful of calories and cholesterol, were cooking the dreariest of dishes. “When you deny the pleasure of food,” she lamented, “you are really denying life.” The recipes in “A Change in Appetite” pop with color and flavor. This one is no exception.
Easy enough for the baking novice, this dessert is too gorgeous for anyone to guess it didn’t demand more of the cook. “I wanted a cake that required no preparation, an immediate cake,” Ms. Henry said. “You don’t even preheat the oven.” No need to fuss with whipping cream as an accompaniment, either: A dollop of sweetened Greek yogurt adds the right note of creamy tang. Just leave time to Instagram this stunning sweet before digging in.
Orange, Almond and Pomegranate Cake
Placing the batter in a cold oven and baking it as the oven heats gives the cake a soft, dense texture. If you want a firmer cake, preheat the oven. Use whole-wheat bread crumbs for added fiber, or plain white for a more delicate texture.
Total Time: 1¼ hours Serves: 6
For the cake:
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 cup freshly ground almonds or packaged almond meal
  • ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pint whole Greek yogurt
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
For the syrup:
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • ½ cup pure pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tablespoons honey
1. In a mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs, almonds, sugar and baking powder. Stir in orange zest, oil and eggs until thoroughly combined. Alternatively, pulse in a food processor until combined.
2. Pour batter into a nonstick or oiled 8- or 9-inch springform cake pan. Set oven to 350 degrees. Bake until a knife inserted into middle of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make syrup: In a small sauce pan over medium heat, gently simmer all ingredients, stirring, until honey dissolves and syrup reduces to about ½ cup, 5-7 minutes.
4. Pierce holes in hot baked cake and slowly pour syrup over top, letting it sink into cake. Let cake cool in pan before transferring to a serving plate. In a bowl, whisk honey into yogurt.
5. To serve, scatter pomegranate seeds over cake. Serve cake slices with a dollop of honey yogurt.

—Adapted from “A Change of Appetite” by Diana Henry

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