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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Pomegranate & Berry Cakes

These are the other baked goodies I took to our church market stall, and these went like...well, hot cakes. :-) They're a very simple recipe, that is very effective. I don't know if it was a baking mishap on my part, but the batter was very liquidy and didn't rise at all. That worried me a little, but the compensation was that the crust became gorgeously crunchy and sticky and golden. The cake underneath was very light and the combination of the two was excellent. What really made these cakes though, was the pomegranate molasses I brushed over the top of each cake. I know pomegranate molasses is the big old foodie ingredient at the moment...and it's seriously good! My mum bought it for me at the local market, not knowing it was the fashionable ingredient of the mid 2000s, and was surprised when I became so excited about it.
All it contains is reduced pomegranates - no sugar or additives, and it's seriously sweet, but also very tangy and almost sour. It's an amazing combination - more interesting than lemon, but with the same sort of tang. And our bottle cost only $1.80! [edit: We were wrong. It cost $2.40. Shocking!] It gave these little cakes an amazing flavour and a great glossy sheen.
These were more popular than the peanut butter chocolate muffins I made, partly because of the name; anything with pomegranate in the title just sounds so very exotic, doesn't it?
Read on for the recipe:

Pomegranate & Berry Cakes

60g butter
200g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
150g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
approx 120ml milk
1 egg
150g mixed berries (from frozen is fine)
For syrup:
2-3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

Preheat oven to 200C.
Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Stir together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, sugar, salt and zest. In a measuring jug, pour in the lemon juice, then enough milk to come to the 200ml mark. It will curdle, but that's ok. Then beat in the egg, molasses and melted butter. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir briefly; the batter should scarcely be combined. Fold in the berries, spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for about 25 minutes. Leave in pan for 5 minutes to cool slightly, then remove to a rack. Whilst still warm, brush with the pomegranate molasses.

Note - I found the cakes stuck fairly stubbornly to the paper cases, so next time I would spray some cooking spray in them before filling.
Makes 12.


  • Niki,

    Another great recipe ... thanks! The cupcakes looked absolutely luscious!

    And I like the idea of brushing the cakes with the pomegranate molasses! I love pomegranate molasses and have been using it for years, but I have never thought to brush it over the top of cooked cake(s)!

    Now I am off to the kitchen to make this recipe. My husband has a team meeting tomorrow morning and it is his turn to bring something to go with their coffee/tea. This group of people are chocoholics, they will really enjoy these cupcakes!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/07/2005 10:12:00 am  

  • Wonderful-looking cupcakes Niki. I don't think I ever heard of pomegranate molasses. Have to look for it. I love pomegranate so the "molasses" must be very tasty.

    By Blogger Ana, at 6/07/2005 08:50:00 pm  

  • Wow, yummy good.

    By Blogger Mollenkamp, at 6/07/2005 09:55:00 pm  

  • Sandra - I'd love to know how they went, if you made them. I had some trouble with the batter sticking to the muffin cases. And yes, the molassess idea is an inspired one. I'm going to keep doing that!

    AG - do buy some! But don't get caught with places trying to sell it for $10 or more. It should be really cheap. It's wonderful mixed with some plain mineral water and lime juice for a refreshing and tart drink, too.

    Ana - Middle-Eastern food was the food fad of the late 1990s in Australia (now it's Spanish food, but even that is a bit passe now) and pomegranate molasses was suddenly everywhere all at once. This is the first bottle I've had though.

    Spinner8 - thank you!

    By Blogger Niki, at 6/08/2005 02:50:00 pm  

  • Niki,

    The cupcakes were a huge success! So this recipe is most definitely one I will use often.

    I took note of your advice re spraying the paper liners with cooking spray and the cakes separated from the paper without any hassles. And before I brushed the tops of the cakes with the pomegranate molasses, I gave each cake several jabs with a cake tester. I also did not use mixed berries, I used fresh cherries, they are in season here in the US right now and they are SIMPLY WONDERFUL!

    My husband took 24 cupcakes with him yesterday, all got eaten, there were 5 people at the meeting, so their tummies must have been full after the 60 minute get-together! He was so disappointed last night when he discovered that I had not set aside a few cupcakes for him to have at home. But he knows they will be a future treat, so he did not sulk for long ;)

    All the best,

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/09/2005 03:40:00 am  

  • Sandra, oh that's wonderful to know! I know I was pleased with them, and loved the taste of the molasses over the top, and it's great to discover other people think so too! Thanks so much for reporting back.

    By Blogger Niki, at 6/10/2005 04:18:00 pm  

  • Well somehow I've fallen behind in the last couple of days and Im just seeing this post now. These muffins look and sound fabulous. The people at the church market must just love you! Its the "crunchy,sticky and golden" part that got me :)

    By Blogger Michèle, at 6/10/2005 04:41:00 pm  

  • Just made these, and they came out wonderful. I really love the contrast of the light cupcake with that crispy, sticky top. I made half a batch with cranberries, which ended up a bit too tart, and half a batch with raspberries, which tasted lovely though sadly the berries sank to the bottom. We're looking into making a buttercream to counter the tartness of the cranberry batch.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/21/2007 12:11:00 pm  

  • Yep, added a rosewater buttercream frosting to the cranberry batch and it was splendid. This will be one of the cupcake flavors I make for my friend's wedding next month.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/21/2007 12:46:00 pm  

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