Pomegranates are a fruit native to Iran and northern India that gets its name from the Latin pōmum "apple" and grānātum "seeded". English actually borrowed the French word for pomegranate grenade for the word grenade, the hand-thrown bomb. Pomegranates have been harvested for culinary use since ancient times, particularly throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean, who have used and their seeds in juice, sauces, syrups, and broths. Nowadays, you often see pomegranate seeds used in salads and desserts, but there are a variety of uses for pomegranate juice as well, including in smoothies, juices, cocktails, wine and baking. Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and potassium, all extremely important nutrients that help maintain healthy brain and tissue function. Pomegranates are also a great source of fibre and have been shown to contain high levels of antioxidants; in fact, pomegranate juice has three times more antioxidants than green tea! Flavourful pomegranates are grown in high temperatures with lots of sun, so they’re widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, but we’ve had success with the cold winters and hot summers of Victoria. Check out our pomegranate chocolate mud cake recipe for a fun way to use this delicious, nutritious fruit:
Pomegranate Chocolate Mud Cake
For the cake
250g dark chocolate
125g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
300mL thickened cream
2 tsp icing sugar
seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from heat and grate in the dark chocolate.
- Seperate the whites of 4 of the eggs, setting them aside. Using an electric beater, beat together the yolks of the 4 eggs, both the yolks and the whites of the remaining 2 eggs and 75g of the caster sugar. Beat for 3-4 minutes on high speed until creamy, then fold in the melted butter and chocolate.
- In a seperate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they’re frothy and then add in the remaining 100g of caster sugar while whisking. The mixture is done when it can hold soft peaks.
- Add the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture and fold in, trying to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. Pour into a lined 23cm springform tin and bake for about 35 minutes.
- Leave the mixture to cool while you whip the cream and icing sugar together. When it’s completely cool, remove the cake from the tin and spread the cream over the top. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and grated chocolate.
Recipe by Australian Women’s Weekly, November 2015.
You can also check out our recipe for a refreshing pomegranate spritzer: