Once in a while I experience extreme cravings, which of course can only be cured by fulfilling them! In this case, I spent the whole week in need of a rich chocolate fudge cake.
While in the past I turn to Nigella's version my cravings took the better of me and I needed something more. I turned to my favourite ingredients, Cardamom, Pomegranate, Coconut & Pistachio to bring you the most decadent, dairy free chocolate fudge cake.
I have to say this was my first time using coconut milk to create a ganache, and I was so surprised at how it mimicked double cream in the exact same way, with that glossy sheen once you have poured the piping hot liquid over broken up chocolate. I was also worried that it wouldn't hold its shape at room temperature, but safe to say once you freeze it for about 30 minutes and then whip it up, it truly does stand perfectly like a buttercream!
The pomegranate jam was a must. As much as I truly enjoy a pure chocolate cake with chocolate icing, I really needed a balance and that fruity taste compliments the rich dark chocolate ever so well. I use frozen pomegranates for this, as honestly who has time to pick out so many seeds from a fresh one! Also with that being there is something to be said for frozen fruit, as it's always guaranteed to be pick in season and therefore you won't be compromising on taste!
I finish the cake with some fresh pomegranates (because why the heck not?!), as well as chopped pistachios - mainly for the colour, crunch and hit of saltiness! Honestly not a must, but you want it to be that extra bit special then be my guest....
Chocolate Cardamom Sponge
200 Grams Self Raising Flour
200 Grams Caster Sugar
200 Grams Dairy Free Butter
3 Medium Eggs
60 Grams Cocoa Powder
1 TBSP Ground Cardamom
2 TBSP Coconut Milk
Coconut Chocolate Ganache
400 Ml Coconut Milk (From the tin)
300 Grams Dark Chocolate (No more than 70%)
Pomegranate Chia Jam
1 1/2 Cup Frozen Pomegranates
3 TBSP Water
2 TBSP Chia Seeds
2 TSP Honey
1 Whole Pomegranate
200 Grams Pistachios (Chopped)
Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
Preparing the Ganache
Place the coconut milk in a sauce and bringing to a boil.
In a separate heat proof bowl, break the chocolate into pieces.
Once the coconut milk reaches boiling point, reduce slightly and allow to cook for a further 5mins.
Pour the hot coconut milk over the chocolate pieces and fold the mixture together, allowing the chocolate to evenly melt.
Continue stirring and folding till all the chocolate is melted and you are left with a thick glossy chocolate ganache.
Allow to cool to room temperature and then cover and either place in the fridge for two hours, or in the freezer for 30 minutes (In the mean time you will be able to prepare the cake).
Line and grease two 6-inch round skin baking tins.
Using an electric whisk, cream together the butter and sugar till it is almost white in colour.
The combine all the other ingredients and whisk till the mixture is fully combined. There is no need to keep mixing passed this point!
Pour two thirds of the batter into one tin and the other third in second tin (this is so you can achieve three equal layers. Otherwise distribute evenly if you want only two, or 4 thin layers.
Place both tins on the middle shelf and bake for 20mins. Check after 16mins as they might be ready, depending on your oven.
Pomegranate Chia Jam
Add all the ingredients into a saucepan and turn the heat to high.
Once the mixture begin to boil and fruit has melted reduce the temperature to low, and leave to boil.
Make sure to keep checking on it and stir occasionally as sometimes it can stick to the bottom of the pan.
After 10 minutes the jam will have thickened and have that gloopy/jelly consistency like jam! Remove it from the heat at this stage and allow to cool.
Assembling the Cake
Everything should be cool by this point.
Cut the cake that had two thirds of the batter in half and level off the other sponge. You want to be left with three equal pieces
Your coconut ganache should be very firm but not frozen. You want to whisk for about a minute with an electric whisk, to allow the ganache to become mousse like.
Using a spatula, apply a generous amount of chocolate ganache and spread evenly, followed by a layer of jam, sprinkling of pomegranates and pistachios.
Repeat this for the second layer and top.
If fancy, add a whole lot more pomegranates and pistachios to the top for extra decoration!
Don't forget to lick all the bowls, and enjoy every slice!