Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pomegranate Molasses Butter Cake

The first time I used pomegranate molasses was to make Muhammara sauce, a delicious Middle Eastern dip that goes well with just about anything. I recently discovered another use for pomegranate molasses, and that is to incorporate it in a butter cake, with a sweet, tart and creamy glaze, topped with pomegranate-glazed walnuts. The cake is buttery, tender and moist, with a hint of the molasses. The walnuts that are glazed with sugar and molasses, are sweet and crunchy like candied walnuts, and also make a great snack eaten on their own.

Here is the recipe for this heavenly cake, adapted from The New York Times.

Pomegranate Molasses Butter Cake


1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, plus 1 teaspoon
3/4 cup caster sugar, plus 4 teaspoons
3 large eggs
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons light cream (or substitute with 3 tbsp heavy cream and 3 tbsp milk)
 3/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts or pecans


1. Heat oven to 180C. Butter a 9-inch-square baking pan, dust lightly with flour and knock out excess.
2. Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine milk and 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses.
3. In a large bowl, cream together stick of butter and 3/4 cup caster sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each until well combined.
4. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with milk mixture. (Begin and end with flour, and mix after each addition until just combined.)
5. Pour batter into pan and bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges, turn cake out onto a rack, and then turn right side up again.
6. Whisk together icing sugar, light cream, and 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses until smooth. Brush or pour glaze over cake, letting it drip down sides.
7. In a small, preferably nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, combine nuts, 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses and 4 teaspoons sugar. Stir constantly and watch carefully until sugar melts and coats nuts, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle over top of cake.