Chocolate Pomegranate Brownie Cake

If you’re not a dog or allergic, there is no such thing as too much chocolate, especially during the holiday season. To celebrate both chocolate and an excess of pomegranates in my house, I decided I should make this amazing cake for Holiday Baking 2016.

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This dessert is truly a show-stopper. It’s colorful, shiny and looks like it’s a lot of work, but it’s secretly super easy to make. Deseeding the pomegranate is a little laborious, but it’s a task of brute force, not skill. I’ve left some brief instructions on how I got the arils out below the recipe, but there are tons of videos online if you need to see it being done.

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Ultimately, the best part is that it’s gooey and delicious and will make you the hero of whatever holiday celebration you’re attending. Seriously, this thing will stand out on any dessert table AND it’s the perfect stand alone dessert as well.

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Just look at that brownie coated in ganache… it’s a dream come true for chocolate lovers. I’m getting hungry just looking at the photo.

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There is truly nothing tastier or more festive than this brownie cake, either. It’s rich, decadent and covered in nature’s Christmas ornaments.

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Ingredients

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup butter, cut into cubes
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 4 ounce recipe chocolate ganache
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

In a bain marie, heat your chocolate and butter until the mixture is fully melted and comes together. This should take around 7 minutes.

Take the bowl off heat and whisk in the sugar and brown sugar until completely combined. If the mixture is still hot to the touch, let it cool for a few minutes before adding the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition.

Add the cocoa powder, salt and flour and whisk just until the batter comes together.

Grease and line an 8 inch round pan with parchment paper and pour the batter in. Bake for 30-33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

Let the cake cool completely before decorating with ganache and pomegranate arils.

To deseed a pomegranate, score a ring around the middle of the fruit and use your fingers to pry it in half–this preserves more arils, as cutting it down the middle ruptures them.

Place the pomegranate half open side down into a small bowl of cold water and start to peel back the skin. The arils might need a little nudge, so running your finger along the bottom will help them fall out.

If any of the white part–the pith, as it’s apparently called–catches onto the arils, just let it be and skim it off later. Repeat this process until all the arils are gone. I ended up using about half a pomegranate’s worth, which was around a quarter cup.

To decorate, pour the ganache over the cake and, before it sets, sprinkle the arils on top. Set the cake in the fridge so the ganache sets a little before serving.

Cute Ghost Cupcakes

I have never, ever gone all out for Halloween. Part of it is probably that I enjoy passing out candy and people watching more than I do either dressing up and walking around in the cold or dressing up and going to a party. I tend not to put a lot of effort into creating Halloween desserts as well, because it happens to fall on my brother’s birthday. I mean, why make dessert if you’re going to have dessert anyways?

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Just kidding. There’s always room for dessert, especially when dessert is these festive and adorable ghost cupcakes made with my SECOND chocolate cake recipe. You’ve already seen my ultimate chocolate cupcakes, but that recipe and this recipe are very different and produce very different results. Those cupcakes have no butter and are very soft and airy, making them great for a swirl of buttercream and not much else. These chocolate cupcakes are denser and actually make very good cake layers. I would say the only downside to this recipe is that it is definitely made for a stand mixer. Hand mixing is possible but will take a while, and it’s pretty much a no go by hand. However, there’s nothing wrong with scooping this batter into a cupcake tray and making tiny buttercream ghosts.

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Halloween spirit isn’t really the same without fluffy buttercream ghosts with chocolate chip faces rising up out of dense, chocolatey graves, right? Stay safe and have a happy Halloween!

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Ingredients

for the cupcakes

  • 1 ⅛ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons espresso powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream

for the decorations

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350º F

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar together (I used the paddle attachment of a stand mixer) on a high speed for two minutes. The mixture should be a light color and almost a paste. It’s not the same as creaming the butter, because that only works with room temperature butter. It will look and feel more like a paste.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla, making sure not to overmix.

Alternate between adding sour cream and the dry ingredients in three or four installments. You always want to start and end with dry ingredients.

Fill the wells of a cupcake tray ¾ of the way up with the batter and bake for 13-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs.

Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely before decorating.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tip with some buttercream and pipe cone-shaped swirls onto each cupcake (one recipe only covers around 9 cupcakes depending on the height of the swirls).

Take 3 mini chocolate chips and place them in a triangle pattern to create a screaming, wide-eyed ghost face on the front of each of your cupcakes.