Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dark Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

In addition to my normal responsibilities at work, I’m also the office birthday cake baker. 

When your name and birthday appears on the office calendar you can best bet that you’ll be getting a cake courtesy of swEEts by e. I usually get some information from the birthday girl or boy and then go on my way to make up something tasty for the big day.

I was so excited when Katie came to me with her ideas for her birthday cake… I think she gets just as excited about my creations as I do. Every time I bring something into work she likes to pretend she’s on Top Chef or Chopped and gives me a complete foodie critique. We both get a huge kick out of it (self proclaimed dork, right here).

The week before her birthday she rushed into my office and quickly shared the news with me: she wanted chocolate and pomegranates...let the internet inspiration begin.

I knew her cake had to be super chocolate-y and when I fell upon this Dark Chocolate Cake I knew it was a winner.
The pomegranates on the other hand were going to be a bit of a challenge..can you believe I've never made anything with pomegranates?? I did some searching though and found what sounded like an amazing cream cheese frosting using POM juice.

Mountain Man had one bite of the cake and looked at me, completely straight faced and proclaimed, “This is the best cake you’ve ever made.”

This chocolate cake is definitely a keeper; the addition of the boiling water at the end leads to a deep, dark, very moist cake. Because Katie is a chocoholic, I covered the cake with a thin layer of chocolate ganache, used the POM frosting for the filling and top of the cake and covered the sides of the cake in chocolate cake crumbs.

Dark Chocolate Cake
Recipe from Hershey's
Oven: 350 Bake time: 35 minutes
Makes 2 8-inch cakes

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup AP flour
3/4 cup Special Dark Hershey's Cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour cake pans, line bottom with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat until combined.
Stir in boiling water (the batter will be very thin)
Pour batter evenly into cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

POMegranate Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe adapted POM Wonderful
Reduce 1 1/2 cup POM juice to about 3 oz. or half the size
8 oz (1 pkg) cream cheese
4 oz butter
12 oz (about 4 cups) powdered sugar

In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, reduce POM juice to about half. This will take a while, so I would suggest starting this while preparing the cake.
Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy.
Slowly add powdered sugar and reduced POM juice *allow juice to cool before using.
Beat until smooth.

Happy Baking!