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Pomegranate Jewel Cake

This recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson's Feast (Hyperion 2004). She calls it "an open jewel-case of a cake." This beautiful, flourless cake uses ground almonds, so the texture is somewhat rough.

Serves 10

8 eggs

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups superfine sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 orange

3 cups ground almonds

2 pomegranates, 1 juiced and 1 seeded

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line with parchment paper a 9-inch spring form pan.

Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a large bowl, and the yolks into a separate bowl. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are stiff but not dry and then whisk in a half-cup of sugar before putting bowl aside.

Add the remaining cup of sugar and zest to the yolks and beat until the mixture is light and airy, then beat in the ground almonds. This will be very thick and heavy, so lighten it with a good dollop of whisked egg whites before folding the rest of them into the thick, yellow almond mixture. It's easiest to fold in the remaining egg whites in thirds. You need to work firmly, but gently, so everything is combined without the mixture losing its air.

Pour into the lined and greased pan and bake about 40 minutes, though check at 30 minutes, as you don't want this to scorch. If the cake is brown enough, but still gooey in the middle, loosely cover with a sheet of aluminum foil.

When the cake comes out of the oven, pour the juice of one pomegranate over the cake while it is still hot and in the pan. Let the cake cool and absorb the pomegranate juice and leave until cold before removing the sides of the pan. Place the cake on a serving plate and cover with pomegranate seeds.

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