Satsuma & Pomegranate Cake

December 11, 2013

Satsuma 1
Starting years ago, I always thought that by this time of the year I would get tired of anything Christmas before it is even the holiday and yet, it never happens. In the world of food photography, we tend to start Christmas photo shoots in the summer. In the world of cookbook publishing, we take full opportunity of the season upon us to shoot the next Christmas. So, when your inboxes get filled with holiday promos on Halloween day, part of me screams "no, no, no! We're not there yet!" and part of me is already filled with ideas about menus and decorations and awaiting impatiently to put all these into action.
Satsuma Cake 1
This time of year I look forward to a little more baking, roasting veggies and long simmered soups. For loved ones, family, friends. For our little team of two also. Not a whole lot of things beat baking on a Sunday morning and filling the house with the aroma of vanilla bean, apple, quince, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc...
Satsuma 3
One thing that always get my head geared up for the season is the abundance of citrus around. Gorgeous Meyer lemons, sun bursting oranges and my favorites,satsuma oranges. Their aromas, soft skins and subtle flesh always bring me back home in a way. I find myself recreating the same full fruit bowl my mother used to bring us after dinner filled with clementines, oranges, nuts and dried fruits. That was our dessert. Simple, easy and the perfect light break in between heavier holiday meals.

Satsuma 2
I admit, I would take a citrus dessert (most) anyday over a chocolate one. Thin slices of citrus, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of fresh mint. A citrus loaded cupcake. Kumquat tea cakes. My list goes on.
Satsuma Cake 3
During the holidays, I love to incorporate every citrus I get my hands on into cakes and confections. My favorite thing to make on a short notice and when the cravings hits on the weekend is a simple creme fraiche, olive oil and satsuma cake. 

A few seeds of tart pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top and I am go to go...

Satsuma Olive Oil Cake

Serves 6 to 8

Notes: you can use regular all purpose flour for this or you favorite gluten free mix to equal two cups flour total. Most recipes call for canola or vegetable oil but olive oil is what we prefer. It adds a more pungent flavor to the cake which I like.

1 cup granulated sugar
zest of one satsuma
2 large eggs3/4 cup olive oil (don't skimp on the quality)
1 cup creme fraiche (or sub full fat sour cream)
1 cup satsuma juice (about 6 medium)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup almond flour1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
pomegranate seeds to garnish
Prepare the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly brush the inside of a 8 to 9 inch cake pan with olive oil.
In a large bowl, rub together the sugar and zest with your fingertips. Add the eggs and whisk until all are incorporated. Add the olive oil, creme fraiche (or sour cream), satsuma juice and whisk again so that everything is well mixed. Add the rice flour, millet flour, sorghum flour,almond flour, baking powder and salt and mix until the batter is smooth. (You can do this in a stand mixer if desired). Fold in the pomegranate seeds with a spatula.
Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out free of crumbs. Slice and serve with pomegranate seeds if desired.


Fran AmenĂ¡bar Ch. said...

It looks deliscius!! I also prefer citrus dessert than the very sweet ones.... and of course, pretty pics, I always learn with your images (and your book).... :)

gfveg said...

brown rice or white rice flour?

FamilySpice said...

I adore pomegranates and what a wonderful combination with the satsumas. I'm so happy this time of year as both are in season! Happy Holidays!

Helene said...

gfveg: either or.

Amanda said...

Helene, could I make this a day ahead or is it better fresh? Also, is it a dense moist cake or airy with a light crumb? I'm trying to plan my Christmas desserts. Thank you!!

Amanda said...

Helene, could I make this a day ahead or is it better fresh? Also, is it a dense moist cake or airy with a light crumb? I'm trying to plan my Christmas desserts. Thank you!!

Kitchen Frau said...

Mmmmm. I do love citrus, too, and living in wintry northern Alberta, Canada, those sunshiny citrus fruits are very much appreciated this time of year. I never thought of putting pomegranate seeds inside a cake, but now that you've put the idea in my head - I think I must go and try it......

The Wimpy Vegetarian said...

Oh I really want to try this! I love citrus cake too. Love!

Helene said...

Amanda: it is better eaten with the first couple of days in my opinion. It's a moist cake.

Katy said...

A satsuma cake is perfect for this time of year, I can only imagine how it tastes paired with the pomegranate. Gorgeous photos.

D. Chan said...

Never thought of having pomegranate with cake! What a great way of getting your fill of healthy food while eating dessert :).

Dana said...

You are right about the wonderful atmosphere the smells of baking add to a house and to the holidays. I look forward to the aroma almost as much as the taste. Your little clementines look like jewels.

Adam said...

This sounds like a great idea, after a while all the holiday goodies of cinnamon and peppermint get tiring. A citrus goodie sounds fantastic!

Heloisa de Mesquita Inoue said...

Feliz Ano Novo!

trisha said...

such beautiful photos as always Helene! I love both orange and pomegranate. thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Hi there,
I just want to say that I love your food photography. You're doing a great job.
I was wondering, did you use only natural light in the oranges photo?
Thanks a lot.

Helene said...

Fernando: Yes, at home I only use natural light. At work, I use natural light about 95% of the time and on occasion strobes for certain clients.
Thank you!

dervla @ The Curator said...

gorgeous, i can't imagine anything more tasty now after all the chocolate i've had this holiday!

dervla @ The Curator said...

gorgeous, i can't imagine anything more tasty now after all the chocolate i've had this holiday!

Alexandra said...

Love this recipe. I added some dark chocolate (sorry, I'm addicted :-). So yumm!

San said...

Hi - I came across your post recently and would like to try the satsuma cake. It looks very tasty. What would you recommend for the baking temperature and time if you use mini muffin tins instead of the 8 inch pan?

Life Images by Jill said...

Is a satsuma an orange? over here they are a plum.... Would any orange do? I love pomegranates, but hadn't thought of putting them in a cake!
Wonderful pics as always.

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