Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fig and Pomegranate Fruit Cake

A couple weeks ago, I received samples of PAMA pomegranate liqueur. Around the same time, a case of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice also came in the mail. Great week for my antioxidant intake, I would say. And I'm sure you have also been hearing about the benefits of antioxidants in the news, in advertisements, in diet trends, in skin care products; yes antioxidants have been become quite popular. And it seems that their place in our vocabulary is not about to fade off any time soon since they are closely linked with aging. Or I should say, they are closely linked to the prevention of aging, in particular the aging of our skin cells.

Last year, I did a series of recipes with pomegranate juice, and here is a new recipe combining both the liqueur and juice. This recipe also contains a good amount of dried figs which, it just so happens, also have antioxidant properties. I think you will find that this cake is moist and sweet enough to stand on its own but, just in case, I also included a recipe for lime frosting below. After all, what is a cake with out frosting, right?

Figs and Pomegranate Fruit Cake
Makes one 9" cake

1 pound dried mission figs
1 cup PAMA pomegranate liqueur
3/4 cup pomegranate juice
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract

1. Add the liqueur and juice to the figs in an air tight container and allow to marinate in the refrigerator over night. *
2. Set the oven to 300 degrees F. Spray the base and sides of a 9" cake pan, and line only the bottom with wax paper.
3. Puree the figs and liqueur- juice mixture to achieve a mostly smooth consistency. Set aside.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
5. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, and apple sauce for five minutes. Add the eggs , one at a time, mixing between additions. Whisk in the lemon zest, vanilla extract, and lemon extract.
6. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and fig mixtures in thirds, mixing well between each addition. (Start with flour and end with fig puree.) Turn the mixer to high and whisk for another 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
7. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake at 300 degrees F for 1 hour and 10 minutes. The top should crack and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then remove from pan and discard the wax paper. Cool completely before frosting.

Lime Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
8 oz fat free cream cheese (at room temperature)
2 cups confectioner's sugar
zest of 1 lime
1 tsp lemon extract

Whisk butter, cream cheese, and lime zest together until it forms a smooth conistency. With the mixer on low, slowly add the confectioner's sugar and lemon extract and continue whisking until all of the sugar has been incorporated. Turn the mixer on high and whisk for another 2 minutes seconds until fluffy.

* A faster alternative to marinating the figs overnight: add the pomegranate juice to the figs, microwave on high for two minutes, then add the liqueur before pureeing.


Sophie said...

Hello Natasha!

Brussels calling!! This fruit cake just looks stunning!!

What a real beauty too!

MMMMMM,..How are you, girl???

Kat said...

This looks delicious! And with the lime frosting? Mmm...I'm so there.

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

This really reminds me of a carrot cake, so moist! And I love this kind of cake!

Sook said...

Oh that is a great looking cake!

Tristan said...

I cosign all the comments here. I've never tried this fruit combination before in a cake though - where can I get it?

Natasha said...

All of your comments are appreciated. You are right, CCR, this cake is as moist as a carrot cake.
As to where one can find dried figs: it is not as elusive as you would imagine. Most grocery stores and bulk food stores carry it, as well as the pomegranate juice which is usually in the refrigerated section of the produce department.

Tristan said...


Cinnamon-Girl said...

What a delicious looking cake! The flavors are just lovely!

mangocheeks said...

I haven't cooked much with pomegranate. this would be a lovely introduction.