I was excited to see a pomegranate at the farmers’ market last week. I purchased one with much joy and have been toying with various uses for it. I thought however, that it would be fun to make some pomegranate cupcakes to take to work. When I told my darling partner of my final decision, he told me I should call them Persephone cupcakes. He has had a far better classical education than I, and at my request relayed a fabulous account of the ancient tale of Persephone, the Greek goddess of gardens, daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter. Every year, she was taken by Hades into the underworld where she was kept for four months and forced to eat four pomegranate seeds before being freed to bring springtime to earth in response to the cries of the people. In retrospect, I should have made these lovely little cupcakes with only four pomegranate seeds on top to make the connection more strongly, but the entire recipe is inspired by ancient ingredients.
Makes approx 24
|2||cups||self raising flour, sifted|
|5||cardamom pods, crushed, husks removed|
Icing and decoration
|125||grams||butter, at room temperature|
|1 3/4||cups||icing sugar|
To make cupcakes: preheat oven to 200oC and grease mini cupcake pan. Combine dry ingredients; add wet ingredients and mix till combined. Pour into cupcake pan and bake for 15 minutes or till cooked through and golden. Remove from tin and cool completely.
To make pomegranate frosting: remove all the pomegranate gems from the fruit. Reserve 1/3 of them for garnish. Place the rest of them in a fine sieve over a small bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the pomegranate gems to remove all juice. Discard the seeds. In a large bowl, beat the butter and gradually add icing sugar. Once you’ve added about half the icing sugar, add the pomegranate juice.
To decorate: place icing in piping bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle. Moving from the outside to the middle of each cupcake, pipe a swirl of icing on each. Scatter pomegranate gems onto the icing and press down to secure. Drizzle the tiniest amount of pomegranate syrup onto each cupcake. Arrange on a platter and serve