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Posts Tagged ‘Pomegranate’

Has it really been a full week since we last posted? Yes, I see the readership dwindling… Come back, readers, come back! Time sure does fly when you’re totally overwhelmed and busy. School started last week, and it’ll be a doozy getting all of this done. Who decided a master’s degree, a full-time demanding job, a new husband, and lots of social inclinations was a good idea? I guess I did, but that doesn’t stop me from complaining about it. As long as it doesn’t keep me from baking…

Speaking of baking, look at these two beautiful smiley people, Andy and Marcella! After months of dating cross-continentally, they’d been reunited in New Haven in August thanks to the generous efforts and string-pulling of a few dear friends, and they’re now officially engaged! And somehow I managed to talk myself into the biggest baking challenge thus far in a young baker’s life… wedding cake. How hard can it be?

Trial number one was a modest, two-layer affair involving pomegranate molasses and vanilla cream cheese frosting. Marcella is a frugivore, you see, and for a recent dinner gathering in part to celebrate her birthday she requested a bowl of exotic fruits in lieu of a birthday cake. Fantasizing about this cake already, I delegated the fruit responsibilities elsewhere and went ahead with my cake-baking! (And yes, I’d consider pomegranate molasses to fall in the exotic fruit category…)

While the cake was very well-received, I’m still brainstorming a few other ideas. Coconut has been vetoed, but I’m willing to take suggestions. What is the best cake you have ever had?

Pomegranate Molasses Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 c sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 c milk
3 T pomegranate molasses

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake rounds. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and well-mixed. Add the eggs one at a time to the butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each mixing. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the butter-sugar-egg mixture. Add in the molasses and stir well.

Pour the batter into each cake round. Bake for ~35-40 minutes until cake is set. Cool completely before removing it from the pan and frosting.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

1 package of cream cheese
2 T vanilla extract (the good kind)
sugar to taste

In a large standing mixer, beat cream cheese at a high speed. Add in the sugar and vanilla extract gradually while continuing to beat. The frosting is done when when the ingredients are mixed well and the cream cheese is fluffy.

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Beloved Brussels

Sometimes I marvel that there are people in the world who don’t like brussel sprouts. Now it’s true that neither Greg nor I had experienced brussel sprouts until later in life, when our palates were a bit more mature, and we didn’t have haunting memories of badly-made brussels to overcome. And I’m sure it didn’t hurt that the first brussels recipe we tried was from 101cookbooks and involved lovely shavings of Parmesan dappling beautifully tender brussels with golden-brown crusts. All that to say, what’s not to love about brussel sprouts? Aesthetically, they are adorable —¬†with their tightly wrapped leaves, they look like little baby mini-cabbages. And in flavor and texture, they are perfect — savory and tender with a hint of bitter adultness.
Brussel Sprout Salad
~14 brussel sprouts, sliced thinly (~4 cut per brussel)
1 fennel bulb, sliced
6 baby portabellas, sliced
handful of cashews, chopped (can be substituted with other nuts)
handful of currants (can be substituted with raisins or dried cranberries)
Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt on fennel before roasting. Roast fennel slices at 400F for 25 minutes. The fennel should be slightly charred and tender when done.
Saute brussel sprouts over medium heat in olive oil. Remove brussels from pan and plate. Saute mushrooms. Remove from pan and layer on top of burssels. Top with fennel. Top with cashews and currants. Drizzle with pomegranate dressing.Pomegranate Dressing

1 T pomegranate molasses
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper
Emulsify pomegranate molasses and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

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