When I reflect on Christmases of my childhood, "simplicity" comes to mind. There was nothing excessive about them—simple gifts, simple food. In retrospect, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. "Simple" meant we could be out the door by 10 and spending the rest of the day at Hapuna Beach!
This year I thought I would follow in the footsteps of my parents. I have scaled back on the demands I would usually place on myself. The wrapping of gifts, the cooking, the baking, the getting ready for company. This year, we are going back to "simple"—and I can't wait!
If you love pomegranates like my boys do, you'll love this recipe for Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters. The bite is unlike any other—sweet chocolate with a burst of bright and tangy pomegranate juice. They are quite the delight and oh-so pretty! The husband calls them chocolate covered bugs. Boys!
Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters
Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free |Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
1. Slice pomegranate in half and then into quarters. Place in large bowl of water and soak 5 minutes. Begin to break pomegranate apart under water, allowing arils to fall to bottom of bowl. Remove rind and membranes. Remove seeds from bowl, picking out any debris. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and blot gently with more paper towels. Arils must be completely dry. Let me stress that again, completely dry. To ensure this, I leave them out to air dry further for a couple hours or place them on a plate in a barely heated oven (that has been turned off). Any residual moisture will prevent the chocolate from binding to the arils and the clusters will fall apart.
2. Line a mini muffin pan with 20 mini muffin cups/liners.
3. Pour chocolate chips into a heavy-duty zip top bag, shake down into one corner. Place in microwave and heat in 15-20 second intervals, removing each time to knead. Continue until chocolate is smooth and viscous. Squeeze chocolate down into one corner. Snip off a tiny corner to make a makeshift piping bag.
4. Drizzle chocolate into bottom of cups. Add a layer of pomegranate arils to each cup. Drizzle with more chocolate. Repeat so that you have four layers of chocolate and three layers of arils.
5. Allow to harden in a cool, dry place.
How to Remove Seeds (Arils) From a Pomegranate
Slice pomegranate in half (or quarters) and place in large bowl of water to soak for 5 minutes. Begin to break pomegranate apart under the water, allowing arils to fall to bottom of bowl. Remove rind and membranes. Remove seeds from bowl, picking out any bits of membrane. Place on a paper-towel lined plate and blot gently with more paper towels until arils are completely dry.