Christmas Kitchen: Ginger & Pomegranate Sandwich Cake
Can I let you in on a secret? I actually don’t like some of the traditional British Christmas edibles such as Christmas pudding, most Christmas cakes, or Mince Pies (there is a reason why I posted my Mother’s personal recipe last year!) Yeah, I know. But I like what I like. You’ll find me in the corner by the Italian 75 cocktails and the Festive Spice Biscuits. Anyway, this Christmas for my Borough Market column I’ve come up with the sort of Christmas celebration cake I to actually want to eat: a Ginger & Pomegranate Sandwich Cake.
The sponge is a classic Victoria Sandwich, but flavoured with the spices you’d traditionally find in a gingerbread traybake. I just did not want to deal with all of that black treacle, and I think a lighter sponge during this heavy festive period is rather welcome, anyway. It is also much easier to make.
The frosting sandwiched in the middle of the cake, and slathered on top is a basic cream cheese mix, spiked with freshly grated orange zest for yet more festivity. Then, both on top of and on the middle layer of the cake you want to sprinkle some freshly picked pomegranate seeds (these add bursts of freshness and crunch, as well as being very pretty to look at), and drizzle a bit of pomegranate molasses. Not only does this up the pomegranate factor of the cake, and also look pretty special, but it adds a little bit of welcome sharpness and tartness that helps cut through the sweetness of the icing. Yep, it is recipes like this I invent in my head when I’m supposed to be doing paperwork. (My adult step up from inventing recipes in university classes!)
One thing to keep in mind when you’re making this cake, is that because it is made with cream cheese frosting you need to keep it refrigerated, but remember to bring it up to room temperature before you serve it. I’d also recommend you eat it within 48 hours of making it, but I honestly don’t see that as being a problem. Because I thought I’d become rather larger if I ate the whole thing myself I took the half we did not eat at home the day it was baked into the boat club with me, and the staff polished it off pretty quickly!
- 175g (6 oz) Margarine (or Unsalted Butter, at room temperature)
- 175g (6 oz) Golden Caster Sugar
- 170g (6 oz, minus 1 tsp) Self-Raising Flour (America, this is how you make the flour)
- 3 Large Eggs
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Hot Water
- 300g (10.5 oz) Icing Sugar
- 50g (2 oz) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 120g (4.2 oz) Full Fat Cream Cheese, at room temperature
- Zest of 1/4 Orange
- 1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
- Seeds of 1 Pomegranate
I can’t wait to hear how you get on with this cake! I’d also love to hear about some of the festive foods that you’re supposed to love, but you don’t! I can’t be the only one who is not totally head over heels for the whole arsenal of festive favourites?