Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Persephone gets her revenge

Sure, kidnapping a girl and en-prisoning her in the Underworld isn't exactly romantic. Hades was no Casanova. But at least he had the wherewithal to feed Persephone pomegranates, even if it was a nasty trick designed to keep her coming back to him. Somehow pomegranates have morphed from the ancient form of rufies into a common ingredient in decadent, romantic desserts. I don't know what that says about us as a society, but they sure do taste good. Pair them with a luscious ingredient like dark chocolate and you have something really special. These cupcakes are my imagining of what Persephone would whip up to pass the time with Hades. She probably wouldn't give him any. I wouldn't.

Pom-Filled Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Pomegranate Mascarpone Icing
makes 10 cupcakes

For Pomegranate Curd Filling:

3 egg yolks
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. unsalted butter, cubed
3 Tbls. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. gelatin
pinch of salt
Scant 1/2 cup Pom Wonderful juice
red food coloring (optional)

Whisk egg yolks and a pinch of salt in a small bowl, set aside. Pour a Tbls. of the Pom juice into another small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the top to soften, set aside. Prepare an ice bath and (you guessed it!) set aside. In a small saucepan, cook remaining juice and sugar over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture comes just to a boil. Remove immediately from heat. Pour a small amount of hot juice into yolks, whisking rapidly to temper. Continue whisking in small amounts until all of juice is incorporated. Add mixture back to the pan and add butter and gelatin mixture (make sure you whisk the gelatin into that Tbls. of juice first). Continue whisking and cooking over medium heat until mixture has thickened, about 8 minutes. Pour into prepared ice bath and stir until cool. Stir in several drops of red food coloring if desired (otherwise your curd is an unsightly brown shade). Cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the surface of the curd (to prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate for at least an hour.

For Cupcakes:

3/4 c. all purpose flour
6 Tbls. dark cocoa powder
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
scant 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 Tbls vegetable oil6 Tbls Pom Wonderful juice

Line a muffin tin with paper liners and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sift flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Reduce speed to low and add egg, oil, milk, juice, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans.

For Icing:
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/4 c. Pom Wonderful juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, heat juice over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until a syrup has formed, about 8 minutes. Beat butter and mascarpone until fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat vanilla and cooled pomegranate syrup into icing until well combined.

To assemble cupcakes:
Cut a small inverted cone shape from the top of each cooled cupcake and eat them :). Fill each hole with a teaspoon of pomegranate curd and top with icing. Decorate as desired.

*The pomegranate curd alone makes an amazing treat (I had to hide it from myself while the cupcakes cooled) and I'll be folding the extra into whipped cream later to make frozen mousse. Yum!

*This is also my entry for February's Dessert Wars Challenge: Dark Chocolate and Hearts!
The February prize package includes:

This post is linked to:

Dessert Wars


MissMerryweathersCreations said...

I am so glad I happened upon this blog in the Etsypaper forum... I can almost taste these cupcakes. I'm drooling on my keyboard :)

girlichef said...

Eeee! I love it! And I love the name =) Pomegranate curd is INGENIUS!!! Sounds fantastic, thanks so much for sharing it w/ the hearth and soul hop this wek. ...you should enter this in Dessert Wars this month, it totally fits the bill!

Tanyia said...

This sounds awesome! It looks even better, and I bet tastes better yet Ty for sharing!

I am stopping by from tasty Tuesday, come take a look at my recipe if ya can :)


Katie @ This Chick Cooks said...

Dark chocolate is my favorite! I love the pink icing too!

KT @ KT's Refinishing School said...

Wow, those look like awesome cupcakes, especially with the curd center--yum!

I love the story you told with it; gives the whole thing context :)

Thanks for sharing!

Rachel W K said...

your posts make me drool and sometimes thats just not healthy! looks amazing!

krissyjosephine said...

These look absolutely delicious. I have never made a cupcake with a curd center and will definitely try it!!

Melinda said...

I hear ya! Thank you for sharing! I, myself have indulged this evening. Not with something as amazing as this, but I did share some chocolate covered strawberries with my hubby and we enjoyed dark chocolate m&m's together...and sweet tarts conversation hearts. Let me tell ya - we are high as kites! Whoo! ha ha! Sugar rush!

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Looks and sounds great! Very creative name :)

Christy said...

What a sweet treat! I am sure Persephone would not share this with Hades - LOL - thank you for sharing this with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

adrienzgirl said...

Two of my most favorite things! Pomegranate and chocolate! You are a woman after my own heart! OH. YES. YOU. ARE!

Mo 'Betta said...

ha! I was going to pretty much say the same thing as adrienzgirl!! Dark chocolate and poms...mmmmmm.

Christy said...

i might agree to spend a few days "down under" just to get a taste of these! what a gorgeous combination. thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club. good luck on dessert wars too!

Debbie said...

Amazing! I really have to try these. When will the next batch be ready????

A.Vang said...

I cannot wait to try these! Thanks for the great recipe!

Louisa said...

Nice introduction! It cracked me up. Nice cupcakes too.

Lisa said...

Ooohh, a pomegranate frosting sounds so good. Great idea. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cupcakes up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweets-for-saturday-4.html

Emily {WhipperBerry} said...

I can't even tell you how amazing these are! You had me at Pomegranate, but when I saw the mascarpone, I fell in LOVE! Thanks for linking them up to our love party.

Emily {WhipperBerry} said...

Hi! I just wanted to let you know we featured you on WhipperBerry today. Come grab a featured button if you like!

A Girl In Her Kitchen said...

Great post!


Lora said...

Pomegranate and dark chocolate is such a luxurious pairing. Beautiful cupcakes!

Reeni said...

These are positively luscious! I am in love with the pomegranate curd! Thanks for entering Dessert Wars!

Faith said...

Oh pomegranate curd! I just drooled a little! Good luck with the contest!!!