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    Martha's chocolate & pomegranate layer cake

    'The sweet yet tart pomegranate matches up with dark chocolate beautifully. Adding juice to the sponge keeps it moist as well as enhancing the pomegranate flavour'. Martha Collison 

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling itme
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes to 25 minutes

    Serves: 12


    200g plain flour
    70g cocoa powder
    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    ¼ tsp salt
    120ml sunflower oil (any unflavoured oil will do)
    340g caster sugar
    2 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
    200ml pomegranate juice

    For the ganache:
    200g butter
    280g dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), chopped
    2 tbsp golden syrup
    250ml double cream
    110g pack pomegranate seeds, to decorate (find in the chiller)


    1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease and line the bases of 3 x 20cm tins with baking parchment.

    2 Combine the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and eggs until smooth.

    3 Add the pomegranate juice and the flour mixture to the oil, sugar and egg mixture. Pour in half the juice, and then add half the flour, then the remaining juice and the remaining flour. Make sure you mix well after each addition to avoid any lumps.

    4 Divide the mixture between the 3 tins and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes are springy to touch and,
    when inserted, a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    5 For the ganache, place the butter, chocolate and golden syrup into a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Stir until the
    mixture is melted and smooth – about 7-8 minutes. Pour in the
    double cream and mix until combined, then place into the fridge and chill until cool but not set – about 35-40 minutes. Use an electric hand whisk to whip the ganache until it turns from dark to pale brown – about 2-3 minutes. 

    6 When you are ready to assemble the cake, place one layer of the sponge on to a plate and spread with quarter of the ganache. Top with the second layer of sponge and another quarter of the ganache, then add the final layer of sponge. Crumb coat the top and sides of the completed cake with a thin layer of ganache, then place in the fridge for around 30 minutes to set. Cover the cake with the remaining ganache and then top with the pomegranate seeds.

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