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Sam's Funeral Cakes
by Tenik (tenik)
at March 24th, 2008 (10:17 pm)

This recipe comes from copperbadge (reposting with permission). I've made these a couple of times before, but now that I live in a country that has pomegranates in the supermarket I can make them properly. When I was in NZ I had to substitute in mixed berry juice. This time not only did I buy the correct juice, but also a little punnet (100g) of pomegranate seeds to add to the mixture as I thought they might add an interesting texture. They did and tasted great (the seeds turn a purply colour after baking). I also didn't have time for fiddly decorating, so just made some simple almond icing with icing sugar, water and almond essence.

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Sam's Funeral Cakes

Dark chocolate cake flavoured with fragrant pomegranate, topped with marzipan bones and skulls. This cake is to be cut into pieces or baked as cupcakes, wrapped in white paper, and given to mourners at the funeral or eaten on holidays of the dead (Hallowe'en, etc). The dark chocolate adds a bitter edge to the cake, while pomegranates and almonds symbolise death and resurrection.

Makes 12 cupcakes or one 9" round cake.

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup pomegranate juice and 1/4 water, combined

* I've been mentally mucking about with melted dark chocolate, but I think chemically it's kind of a bad idea and anyway the idea is that this cake is easy to make.

Frosting glue:
1/2 lb confectioner's sugar
2 egg whites

Marzipan for skulls and bones.

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a baking pan or cucpcake pan. I made cupcakes, myself, so I haven't tested the Cake yet.

2. Put water and juice into a saucepan and set to heat on high. I actually used a bit more than a quarter cup up juice, because I knew a bit would evaporate.

3. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

4. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla to the dry mixture; whisk until blended. The mixture will be tough and rather tarlike in consistency.

5. When water/juice mixture boils, add it to the thick mixture and whisk until blended, which may take some time. The batter will end up very thin. Pour batter into prepared pan(s); cake will rise, so be careful.

3. Bake 15 minutes for cupcakes or 30 for pan(?) until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before removing, as the cake is very soft and spongy.

Optional:

4. For frosting "glue", add egg whites to confectioner's sugar one at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon, then whisk with an electric mixer until smooth. If runny, add more sugar; it should be almost pastelike.

5. Shape marzipan into small skulls, bones, scythes, and other death-related symbols. Attach to individual pieces of cake using frosting glue in a pastry bag.

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Note: I used 180 degrees Celsius and the mixture only made 10 cupcakes. I think maybe too much of the juice evaporated so next time I'll add more. Also couldn't find baking soda so had to use extra baking powder instead, so maybe they didn't rise as much as before. Although still taste light and fluffy.