There are bound to be at least a few chocolate lovers on your holiday guest list. And nothing will make their night like a rich, personal-sized chocolate cake.
Expect oohs and ahhs when people discover that there are actually three cake layers inside — which are only as thick as a baking sheet — plus a jelly-like filling that bursts with pomegranate flavor. To make these babies easy to assemble, you’ll actually create a single cake, then cut it into squares. Glaze and garnish each individual slice to achieve the look of stand-alone cakes.
FOR THE CAKE, WHISK:
FOR THE FILLING, COMBINE:
FOR THE GLAZE, HEAT:
Test Kitchen Tip
After filling and layering the cake, pop it into the freezer until it’s firm so it’s easier to cut into squares.
Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 11×17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray.
For the cake, whisk together flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt in a large bowl until no lumps are visible.
Combine water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla; whisk into dry ingredients only until flour is no longer visible. Pour batter into prepared baking sheet, spreading to edges.
Bake cake 15 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a rack, then turn out onto another sheet of parchment paper. Peel original parchment paper from cake.
Trim edges from all sides of cake. Cut cake into thirds to form three 5×10-inch rectangles.
For the filling, combine pomegranate juice and sugar in a saucepan. Boil liquid over high heat until reduced to 1½ cups, about 10 minutes.
Combine cornstarch and 3 Tbsp. pomegranate juice in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Whisk cornstarch mixture into reduced juice mixture in saucepan.
Spread half of the chilled filling onto one cake layer. Top cake layer and filling with a second cake layer and remaining filling; top with final cake layer.
Cut cake into 1½-inch squares. Transfer squares to a cooling rack placed over a parchment-paperlined baking sheet, leaving space between individual cake squares.
For the glaze, heat cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium until mixture boils. Place semisweet and bittersweet chocolate in a bowl; pour cream mixture over chocolate. Let cream and chocolate stand 3 minutes, then whisk until chocolate is melted and glaze is smooth.
Pour 1 Tbsp. glaze over each cake square; spread on tops and sides to cover completely. Let glaze stand until firm, 30 minutes. Garnish each cake square with pomegranate arils.
Make-Ahead Directions: Bake the cake and make the filling up to 2 days before serving. Glaze cakes a few hours before serving them so the glaze has time to set up.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 27%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 113mg 4%
Carbs 39g 13%
Fiber 2g 8%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.