Spinach cake with mascarpone and pomegranate seeds
‘Healthy eaters are keen to squeeze their greens in wherever possible, but for those who have more of a sweet tooth, I can’t think of a better way to enjoy spinach– without even knowing you’re doing it–than with this traditional Turkish cake
500g baby spinach
120ml neutral-tasting vegetable oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1tspn vanilla-bean paste
300g caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
500ml double cream
75g granulated sugar
500g mascarpone cheese
Half a teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Handful pomegranate seeds
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚f/gas mark 4 and prepare two 18cm by 28cm sandwich tins with baking paper and a light brushing of oil.
Wilt the spinach by putting it in a colander and pouring boiling water over it. Using a food processor, purée this to a fine consistency with the oil, lemon juice and zest—it will take about 10 minutes.
Beat the eggs, vanilla-bean paste and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, then pour in the spinach purée and mix well using a spatula.
Add a pinch of salt to the flour and then fold it gently through the cake mixture. Pour into the prepared tins and bake for 15–20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Prepare the icing by whipping the cream until almost stiff, then adding the sugar and folding in the mascarpone and vanilla-bean paste. Spoon the icing over one half of the sponge, spreading it evenly with a palette knife. Put the second cake layer on top and spoon more icing over it, spreading it until smooth.
Scatter the pomegranate seeds over the top and serve.