Well, it turns out that fresh pomegranate juice looks very much like blood, making it perfect for spooky Halloween dishes.  Instead of pumpkin, I think I’m going to work on bloody pomegranate desserts next year.

These brownies turned out very good, for brownies.  I’m not much of a fan (see my opinion on chocolate), but the concept of pairing pomegranate and dark chocolate in a treat I could take to a friend’s Halloween get-together was something I had to try.  Unfortunately, I was pretty impatient (I didn’t need to be; I’d just been on overdrive all day) and could have taken a little more time with a few steps.  I think the syrup may have needed a little more cooking (I just don’t think it had reduced as much as the recipe called for it to do – I seemed to have a lot and didn’t want to risk oversoaking the brownies) and the brownies definitely needed to cool a few minutes more before being sliced.  They crumbled all over the place!  The presentation was also totally lacking, and if I made these again I might reserve some of the syrup to reheat and pour over individual (albeit less transportable) servings of warmed brownies.  Maybe with some whipped cream or even a little ice cream…

Anyway, don’t let any of that put you off, since those were all problems stemming from me rushing through everything.  The pomegranate flavor is nice but pretty understated and adds an overall stickiness that goes well with brownies in general.  These are tasty brownies, and since it’s a pretty basic recipe without the pomegranate syrup it could be easily modified.  Maybe I’ll try making some caramel sauce instead for the next batch I try, or possibly a mint frosting for Christmas.  I am definitely going to make them again – they’re surprisingly easy and fun to make!

Double Chocolate Pomegranate Brownies

That's the most photogenic little crumb there was!
That's the most photogenic little crumb in the whole batch!

Seeds from 1 very large or 2 medium pomegranates

3/4 cup sugar

Using whatever juicing method you prefer, extract 1 cup of juice from the pomegranate seeds (I went the low-tech route and just crushed them thoroughly through a strainer into a bowl, then poured the juice into a cup measure).  Put the juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  The syrup should cook down to about half a cup.  Set aside.

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 100% cacao)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli again…60% cacao)

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 13x9x2 inch baking pan.  Place the unsweetened chocolate and butter into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 90 seconds, pausing to stir every 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave and continue stirring until the chocolate is melted.  Use a rubber scraper to transfer the mixture into a lerger mixing bowl.  Stir in the sugar, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla.  Add the flour and chocolate chips and stir until everything is mixed well.  Spread the batter into the pan and drizzle with half of the pomegranate syrup.  Swirl the syrup into the batter slightly.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is firm – don’t bake for too long!  Allow to cool in the pan for abut 15 minutes, then drizzle with the rest of the syrup.  Let it cool for up to an hour (but at least 20 minutes) then slice.

Everyone we shared these with loved them, but it was consensus among everyone that you had to really be “in the mood” for a brownie to fully enjoy these.  I think that’s a fair review – these are satisfying, chocolatey and definitely not complicated to make, and if you do use the pomegranate syrup, people will generally be impressed with the combination.

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