Tahini is one of those things that ends up hanging about in the fridge for ages, long after the resolution to make our own hummus has passed. Which is a shame because it's beautiful: silky smooth and richly-sesame flavoured, so of course, we've found a way to get it into a cake.
I have a friend who grew up in Cyprus, and tahini always reminds me of long, late-summer days and lunches by the sea there. It's used in this recipe in place of butter, which makes this cake rich and nutty, yet dairy free: it's naturally gluten free too.
Tahini Pomegranate Cake
Preparation time: 30 mins
Baking time: 45-50 minsYou will need:
For the cake:
- 200g tahini
- 200g caster sugar
- 150g polenta
- 50g ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder (check to make sure it's gluten free)
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 3 tbsp pomegranate juice
- 2 tbsp honey
- Zest of 1 orange (save a little to decorate)
For the syrup:
- 1 pomegranate
- 100ml pomegranate juice
- 1 tbsp muscovado sugar
- Preheat the oven to 165C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Grease and line a 20cm baking tin. (Just grease it if you're using a silicone one).
- Beat together the tahini and the sugar.
- Measure the polenta, almonds and baking powder into a separate bowl.
- Beat the eggs in a jug, together with the pomegranate juice and honey.
- Add a third of the polenta mixture to the sugar mixture, along with a third of the eggs and stir gently to combine. Repeat twice more with the remaining ingredients.
- Stir in the orange zest.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. If the edges are browning too fast, cover them with tin foil.
- Place on a wire-rack and leave to cool in the tin.
- Meanwhile, make a mess of yourself by deseeding the pomegranate.
- Tip the pomegranate seeds into a small saucepan with the juice and muscovado sugar. Stir together and gently simmer for around 10 minutes, until the liquid has reduced.
- Set aside to cool.
- When the cake is still slightly warm, poke some holes in it with a skewer, and spoon over the pomegranate syrup. Decorate with the remaining orange zest.