April is finally here and that means it’s time to organise your very own Pawsome Afternoon Tea to raise money for cats and kittens! To get started, download your free pack from www.pawsometea.org and follow our top tips for making sure your event is particularly paw-some.
Eric Lanlard is supporting our Pawsome Afternoon Tea campaign
Once the invites are sent and the posters are up, it’s time to think about the food and drink! This year, Cake Boy himself Eric Lanlard is supporting our campaign and has a special recipe to help you impress your guests. Eric has twice been named Continental Patissier of the Year at the British Baking Awards and has two cats of his own, so was thrilled to show his support for Cats Protection. He said: “An afternoon tea is the perfect way to meet up with friends and family and what better way to help cats and kittens in need?”
Eric’s clementine and pomegranate would make the perfect centrepiece for your Pawsome Tea. Decorated with beautiful jewel-like pomegranate seeds, this moist cake uses whole fruits to ensure it is packed with flavour. It also happens to be gluten- and dairy-free!
Clementine and pomegranate cake
Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking time: 2–2½ hours
- 4 clementines or satsumas, unpeeled
- 1 cinnamon stick oil, for greasing
- 6 large eggs
- 225g (8oz) light muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 300g (10½ oz) ground almonds
For the syrup:
- 1 pomegranate, halved
- 25g (1oz) light muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp orange blossom extract
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 3 tbsp apricot glaze (see tip below)
- Icing sugar, for dusting
Put the clementines or satsumas and cinnamon stick into a medium saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 1–1½ hours, then drain the fruit and remove the cinnamon stick. Leave to cool for 30 minutes, then halve the cooked fruit and discard the pips. Put the fruit, including the peel, into a blender or food processor and blend to a purée. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4). Grease a 23cm (9in) diameter, 9cm (3½ in) deep cake tin and line with baking paper. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water for about five minutes until pale and mousse-like. Take the bowl off the heat and add the baking powder, ground almonds and the fruit purée. Fold in gently but thoroughly.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (fan 140°C/325°F/gas mark 3) and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the syrup, squeeze the pomegranate halves to extract the juice, reserving the seeds, then pour the juice into a small saucepan. Add the sugar and bring to the boil, then simmer for two minutes. Leave to cool slightly (the liquid should still be warm), then stir in the orange blossom extract and vanilla paste. Using a pastry brush, ‘soak’ the cake with the warm pomegranate syrup and leave in the tin until completely cold.
Remove the cold cake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Brush the apricot glaze all over the cake, including the sides. Just before serving, scatter the reserved pomegranate seeds over the top of the cake and dust with icing sugar.
Top tip: To achieve a professional, glossy finish on cakes and tarts, use apricot glaze. To make the glaze, put some apricot jam into a small saucepan and gently warm through, then press through a fine sieve to remove any lumps. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm glaze over the finished cake or tart and leave to cool.
Recipe taken from Eric Lanlard's Afternoon Tea published by Octopus Books