I recently received a case of POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice from the fantastic people at POM (thank you!). I’ve been thinking about what to make with it and for some reason I just couldn’t get dark chocolate out of my mind. (Maybe I was thinking that all the antioxidants in the dark chocolate would be enhanced by all the antioxidants in the pomegranate juice…yes, I’m sure that’s why I had dark chocolate on my mind. ;) ) I debated what to make, but in the end I decided brownies would be delicious. To contrast the dark chocolate in the brownies, I thought a white chocolate buttercream would be perfect. As a play on pomegranate arils, I thought it would be fun to use some red food dye to color some raw sugar (I used raw sugar because of the large crystals), and use that to decorate the brownie tops.
In this recipe I turned the pomegranate juice into grenadine by cooking it down with honey, which turned out well because the honey helped to keep the brownies moist and chewy. You can also mix the grenadine with sparkling water for pomegranate soda (just like Brandy did here). I’m also thinking about using the grenadine to make pomegranate BBQ sauce, pomegranate vinaigrette, and pomegranate truffles. (Oh yes, there’s a lot you can do with POM!)
POM contains 100% pomegranate juice, which means that it’s all-natural and doesn’t contain any added sugar, preservatives, colors, or other juices. POM is a fantastic source of antioxidants, and hundreds of studies show that it has even more antioxidants than red wine, grape juice, blueberry juice, cranberry juice, green tea, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.
So how does POM taste on its own? It’s got a pleasant, sweet-tart flavor…the best thing I can compare it with is cranberry juice. If you enjoy the flavor of cranberry juice you’ll probably really enjoy POM. Or you can add a splash of POM to sparkling water or 7 UP for a refreshing, festive drink!
Dark Chocolate POM Brownies with White Chocolate POM Buttercream
(Yield: 12 servings)
4 oz good quality dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 TB unsalted butter
1 c brown sugar, lightly packed
2 TB POM-honey grenadine syrup (see below)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 c flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
8 TB (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
2 oz white chocolate, melted
2 TB POM-honey syrup (see below)
16 oz powdered sugar
1 TB milk (or more to reach your desired consistency)
POM-Honey Grenadine Syrup:
6 TB POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
3 TB honey
Raw sugar mixed with a few drops of red food color (optional; to decorate the tops)
A muffin tray
12 muffin liners
For the POM-honey syrup: Combine both ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook on low to medium-low heat for about 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s reduced by about half and forms a thick syrup-like consistency. (It will thicken more as it cools.)
For the brownies: Preheat the oven to 325F. In the microwave or a double boiler, melt together the chocolate and butter. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and mix in the sugar, POM-honey grenadine syrup, and vanilla. Then beat in the eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Gently incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet. Line a muffin tray with muffin liners and lightly spray each liner with cooking spray. Fill each muffin well about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for approximately 24 to 28 minutes (rotating the pan once), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Once the brownies cool, they will likely sink down and form a well in the center…this is what you want to happen, since it makes the perfect vessel for holding the buttercream.
For the buttercream: Melt the white chocolate in a microwave or double boiler. Beat together the butter, melted chocolate, and POM-honey grenadine syrup. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar; while still beating add milk (a little at a time) until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
Frost the brownies with the buttercream and decorate the tops with the red sugar (if using).