I seem to be on some kind of awesome, cake-making roll right now. I developed a perfect chocolate fudge cake recipe last week (that’s one for another day) and then THIS one over the weekend.
The flavour pairing here was inspired by Sachertorte – an Austrian cake made with chocolate, ground almonds, apricot jam and (when my mum makes it) coffee. It’s the bitter edge of the chocolate & coffee paired with that jammy tang that really makes it stellar. So I borrowed the concept and applied it here.
As it’s now November, the selection of fruit is understandably a bit sad. There are apples and pears but when you’re baking with them, everything just ends up as a beige blob. I wanted to inject some colour back into baking and was heading towards using raspberry jam when I realised POMEGRANATES are around!!! I absolutely love em.
Like edible, lustrous jewels the arils add a special sparkle and pop (in colour and texture) to anything they’re scattered on. Who needs sprinkles or glitter when you can have pomegranates!?
They also have that perfect balance of sweet and sour which pairs super well with chocolate 🙂
When foods are in sync seasonally, it tends to follow that they are also great flavour partners. Thus a handful of chopped hazelnuts was added to the topping too. I used a chopped up bar of hazelnut chocolate IN the cake and ground hazelnuts in the batter, too. If you’re not bothered about having the hazelnuts in the batter, ground almonds are an easier/cheaper sub but still give a lovely, buttery crumb to the cake. As for the coffee in the batter – it may sound like a really weird addition here but it seriously does work extremely well – trust me!!
- 80 g (2/3 cup) whole hazelnuts (OR 80g (3/4 cup) ground almonds)
- 100 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 100 g (1/2 cup) coconut sugar or light brown sugar (see notes)
- 60 g (1/2 cup) oat flour (see notes)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) strong, brewed coffee
- 75 g dark chocolate , , finely chopped
- 1 pomegranate
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) double (heavy) cream
- 4 tbsp plain yogurt
- handful of hazelnuts , , chopped
- dark chocolate , , peeled into flakes (using a vegetable peeler)
- Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast in an oven at 180 C (350 F) for 8-12 minutes, until the skins start peeling away. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled, place into a food processor or blender and grind until fine. Leave the oven on and grease a 6-inch (20cm) cake tin with butter.
- Place the butter into a medium pot. Melt over a low heat then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and ground hazelnuts (or ground almonds) with the oat flour. Crack in the egg and stir together well. Add the salt, baking powder and stir them in well. Pour in the coffee and stir until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and cover with the chopped chocolate. Swirl the chocolate into the batter a bit, then bake the cake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool completely before turning out onto a plate.
- Cut the pomegranate in half and coax out a generous amount of arils, separating them from the membrane around them.
- Place the double cream into a medium bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Stir in the yogurt and then fold in any stray pomegranate juice.
- Top the baked cake with whipped cream, pomegranate arils, chopped hazelnuts and peeled dark chocolate. Chill cake until serving. Store leftovers covered with clingfilm in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- to make oat flour: place plain oats into a blender or food processor and blend until fine.
- make sure the oats and baking powder are certified GF if needed
- I think it may be possible to veganise this recipe by using 80g of melted coconut oil in place of the butter and a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water) in place of the egg. You could then top the cake with whipped coconut cream!
- for the chocolate, I used a bar of finely chopped Green & Black's Hazelnut and Raisin dark chocolate but plain dark chocolate will work perfectly too.