How do you feel about pomegranates? I find that pomegranates tend to be a polarizing subject much like cilantro and caviar- love 'em or leave 'em. Me? I'm for them IF I don't have to be in charge of getting them out of the sucker. Thankfully, we're living in the future and pomegranate seeds are available ready, willing, and able in the produce section. Yes, they are a bit more expensive. And sometimes, I feel guilty and decide to pump myself up to doing the legwork myself and then I remember, this ain't so bad.
This loaf cake is wowza. And I don't toss around wowza willy nilly. It's truly reserved for the remarkable, the recipes that I just can't stop nibbling. The cake is loaded with orange flavors and running throughout, are little red gems that pop in your mouth. The topping is made with crème fraîche which lends creamy tang and a lovely bed to sweet, candied orange slices. I can personally attest that this cake is perfectly splendid with a cup of coffee in the morning, with tea in the afternoon or with some white wine after supper. Because, yes, I did eat it all day long.
1 stick [113 grams] butter, room temperature
1 cup [230 grams] granulated sugar
2 whole eggs
3/4 cup [178 grams] buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Zest of three clementines or two large oranges
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or triple sec, optional but awesome
1 3/4 cup [245 grams] all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon corn starch
On the sidelines:
7 ounces pomegranate seeds
Crème Fraîche Glaze, recipe as follows
Candied orange slices, store bought (my favs are from Trader Joe's, FYI)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a standard 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Spray the pan all over with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In the first bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for five minutes.
Add the second bowl, gradually, into the butter and sugar. Scrape down the sides and continue beating for another two minutes.
Whisk together the ingredients in the third bowl and add into the batter. Mix until just combined but make sure everything is thoroughly distributed. Fold in the pomegranate seeds.
Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and set, roughly one hour. Let cool.
Once cooled, spread with the creme fraiche glaze and arrange the candied orange slices on top. Let set.
Crème Fraîche Glaze
1 1/2 cup [185 grams] powdered sugar
3 tablespoons crème fraîche, if unable you can swap with sour cream
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch of salt
Whisk everything together.