Pomegranate in Chocolate: Stroke of Genius

Amanda and I are pretty smart cookies, I must say. Sequester us in a room with the Food Network and you had better just stand back. Things could get dangerous.  Deliciously dangerous. 

So there we were, in the living room, basking in the sparkle of the 3/4 Christmas tree and watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate on the Food Network.  It’s a show where chefs and famous foodie folks tell you about the best things they’ve ever eaten according to the theme of that episode (comfort food, fried food, seafood, etc.), how it’s made, and where you can eat it, too.  Tonight it was about dessert. 

I said something to Amanda about how, although I love the show, I shouldn’t be watching it because I’d already decided that my after-dinner treat would be pomegranate and now all I wanted was something covered in chocolate.  Her idea: cover the pomegranate in chocolate. 

That’s why we’re friends, Amanda and I. She’s got answers when I’ve got questions. She’s a gem.

We chatted about it for awhile, mulled over our options. I could just pop the pomegranate in my mouth and chase it with some chocolate chips or I could put the arils in a dish and drizzle melted chocolate over them (not an altogether bad idea at all). 

Here’s what I did for reals:

Step 1: Wipe down the counter. 

Girl, your counter is gross.

Step 2: Pull out your favorite chocolate chips and some pomegranate arils. (Sidenote: are “arils” something you can only find inside a pomegranate? Is that a pomegranate-specific word, or are there other applications? The word nerd in me would like answers.)

I used Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips.  We’re a gourmet household, for sure.

Psych! (Whenever I say or think “psych!” I instantly picture riding the school bus in second grade, probably because that’s the last time that exclamation was appropriate.) We’re not really gourmet, I eat out of a lot of cans. We just are big chocolate chip fans.

Also, you should know that Costco sells little bowls of pomegranate arils already separate from the fruit.  It’s magical.  You clearly do not need the little bowl of pre-separated arils to make the treat I’m about to show you, but it’s what I had on hand because one gets tossed into my cart every time I walk through Costco’s doors.  Clearing out a whole little dish in minutes is not uncommon.  In fact, it was my plan tonight before Rocco Dispirito took over my TV and went all crazy-eyed about a chocolate mousse. Dang it, Rocco.

Should you happen to find yourself in possession of a whole pomegranate and not a handy little bowl of arils, here’s a little direction on how to get into one of those guys without having to drop-cloth your entire kitchen: How to Open a Pomegranate, on Tasty Kitchen. 

Anywho, step 3: Melt your chocolate chips.

Dump your chips in something microwave-safe.

I microwaved mine at 30 and 15 second intervals, checking on and stirring the little dudes until I was happy with their meltediness. It’s a word.  Because I said so.

Not meltedy enough:

Still some lumpy-bumpy chips in there.

Ooooh….that’s a good-lookin’ spoon….

Hey! Don’t lick that! You’ve still got some stirrin’ to do!

When the chocolate is as smooth as you’d like it, all meltedy with no lumpy-bumpies, step 4 is to make little smoodgies of chocolate on some wax paper you’ve laid out.

That’s a smoodgie.

I made one smoodgie at a time. Then, after each smoodgie is spread, I scattered some arils on top. That’ll be Step 5.

That’s a poorly done example of aril scattering.  I used a spoon at first and the little dudes rolled all over.  After that I just grabbed some with my fingers.

Step 6: Top the aril-scattered chocolate smoodgie with more chocolate.

They’ll end up lookin’ somethin’ like-a-dees:

Hopefully they won’t look like this:

That one looks a little like it came from a wild animal with a pomegranate-heavy diet.  Meh.  There’s a learning curve, I guess.  What’s it say about me that I jacked up the execution of a two-ingredient recipe?  Don’t answer that.  

After that little mishap, I decided that maybe whatever it was I was making didn’t actually need the chocolate topper.  The chocolate, I’d thought, was goopy enough that if I didn’t spread the smoodgies so thinly I could probably just gently push the arils into the chocolate and they’d stay perfectly fine.

So that’s what I did:

And then I did this:

And I ate it.  Deeeelightful.  Definitely a sign of good things to come.

Step whatever-number-comes-next: Put them in the freezer or fridge or wherever to let them set up.

It took about five minutes for them to harden in the freezer.

Then, ta-da! Chocolate-covered pomegranate arils!

They are a strange combination of refreshing and chocolately, to be sure.  It works, though. It works well. The pomegranate is a little tart and crunchy and the chocolate is just so purely chocolatey and smooth. Your teeth sink into the chocolate and the little arils burst. Kirstin was a little surprised when I ambushed her into trying them.  The arils go “Pew-pew-pew!” in your mouth, she said. 

I think I prefer the ones without the extra chocolate on top.  There’s a greater aril-to-chocolate ratio.  What you prefer would totally depend on what you prefer…are you looking for a chocolate-heavy snack or do you want more fruit?

Man, I love these.  And they’re easy.  And I made them with things I already had in my house, which is something I get very excited about. Spur-of-the-moment fantastic.  I don’t know if you could tell by the way I was enthusiastically tooting my own horn earlier, but I’m a little proud of what Amanda and I came up with tonight.  It must be considered a health food, too, right?  Semi-sweet chocolate and pomegranates are both packed full of anti-oxidants, right? So I had to be thinking of my health when I finished off the whole plate, right? (Kidding! That totally didn’t happen…yet.)

Who’d have thought a little meltediness, some smoodgies, and food that goes “pew-pew-pew” in your mouth could be so delicious?