Banana Pomegranate Coffee Cake

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So you know how when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail? Well the same goes if you’re trying to figure out what to do with pomegranate molasses. Everything looks like it can go with pomegranate molasses. Pomegranate coffee?? Sure why not. Pomegranate tomato soup? Definitely. Pomegranate pesto pizza knish? Yummtastic. But with so many options to chose from, how was I to decide what to make? I couldn’t sleep, I was pacing to and fro with nothing but pomegranate on my mind. And then it hit me – Banana pomegranate coffee cake. Let’s break it down.

Why banana? Because I had 5 over-ripe bananas in the fridge, and needed to do something with them.

Why coffee cake? Because I love coffee and I love cake, that was a no brainer.

(Side point, I never understood why it’s called coffee cake, there’s no coffee in it, and what? it goes well with coffee? What cake doesn’t? But I digress.)

Anyway, pretty much everyone who I asked what they thought about the combination of flavors, totally didn’t agree with me. They all felt it was too many flavors, and that it wouldn’t mesh well together. Well guess what, they were wrong!

To me this dish was more an experiment in flavor combination, and less an experiment on the consistency of the cake. So I used the first coffee cake recipe I can find (it called for blueberries), and just substituted bananas. The recipe also called for sour cream, which I used the parve type.

So as with any cake that has sugar and a fat in it, we start by creaming the two together, and the best way to do that is with everything at room temperature. After the margarine and sugar are nicely integrated, add the egg, and egg yolks and mix to combine.

In another bowl, add the bananas and sour cream, and mush them all together. Then add the banana mixture to the sugar-margarine mixture, and mix them all together.

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And now it is time in sprockets for when we add the dry ingredients. Mix together the flour and the baking powder, and with the mixer on low, add the flour slowly until incorporated, making sure to not over mix the batter.

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Then pour the batter into your pan, and I figured, since the pomegranate molasses was pretty thick (I had over reduced it some, as I’m sure you knew, since you read the last post!), I first needed to warm it up so it would pour out of the container (yeah, it was pretty thick), and spread the remaining molasses throughout the banana cake thusly:

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I tried to spell my name in it, but it didn’t really work out so well.

Once that was all done, it was time to officially deem this cake a coffee cake, and give it it’s proper regalia: a crumb topping. Mix some margarine, sugar, and cinnamon together and presto chango – you can now transform anything you want into a coffee cake.

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Bake at 350 for like 30-35 minutes, or until the center is set, and then allow to cool before devouring.

So here’s the deal, once people were telling me that a banana pomegranate coffee cake sounded disgusting, I had to make it to find out for myself whether it was going to be an epic disaster or not. Well my take on the cake (I’m a poet, and I didn’t even know I was) was that, the actual cake itself could have been a better consistency, I felt like it was too gummy, and I’m not 100% sure why, however, the actual flavor combinations that were going on here, were great. I really think the banana went well with the pomegranate molasses, and crumb topping, and I definitely would try it again.

I’ll post the recipe I used, but if you’re actually planning on making this at home, I would suggest (possibly incorrectly), to just take any good banana cake recipe you have, and continue with the rest of the ingredients, and I’m sure it will be fine.

Banana Pomegranate Coffee Cake

Ingredients –

    • 1 and a 1/4 cup sugar (divided)
    • 3/4 cup margarine (divided), cut into small pieces, at room temperature
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 2 cups sour cream (I used the parve one)
    • 4-5 over ripe bananas
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • Whatever leftover Pomegranate Molasses you have (if I had to measure it, it was probably 1/3 of a cup)
    • 2 T Cinnamon

Directions –

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cream 1 cup of sugar, and margarine, until smooth, and then add the egg and egg yolks and mix until incorporated.
  3. Mush together bananas and sour cream, and add to sugar-margarine mixture, and mix until combined
  4. Whisk together flour and baking powder, and slowly incorporate into wet ingredients, until just combined.
  5. Place batter into well greased (or with parchment paper) loaf pan, and pour the pomegranate molasses over top, and swirl it in like the princess you are (is anyone even reading this?)
  6. Make crumb topping by combining remaining margarine, and remaining sugar with cinnamon, and mush (is it me or have I said “mush” a lot in this post?) it with your hands until it’s the right consistency, and sprinkle over the batter.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center is set, and allow to cool, for at least 30 minutes before slicing it open.

Pomegranate Chicken with Pomegranate Molasses

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Hey hey hey.

Man it’s been a while. So how’ve you been? Terrible?? Why? Oh, because I haven’t posted in quite a while? Well I’m sorry to hear that, and had I known that I was that important in your life, I might have gotten off of my lazy behonkes a few days sooner and posted something for goodness sake!

Anyway, remember the other day I was telling you how cool I am? Well I come to re-iterate that. You see, right before Pesach I got an email from Pom Wonderful, the company that makes pomegranate juices, and they asked me if they can be the official pomegranate juice of the KosherGastronome. To which I replied, only if you’ll put my picture on your bottle, to which they happily complied.

See?

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Anyway, what really happened, is the wonderful people over at Pom sent me over a case of pomegranate juice for me to tinker with, but it took me a while for my creative brain juices to flow.

The first thing I thought of doing with the pomegranate juice, was to make some pomegranate molasses. Why? I’m not sure, however, Pom wonderful is 100% pomegranate juice, and if you simply add some sugar and lemon juice, and cook it down, you will first have pomegranate syrup (also known as grenadine, which would be perfect for the tequila you’re currently drinking in honor of Cinco de Mayo) and if you continue to cook it and thicken it up some more, you will have pomegranate molasses. Apparently pomegranate molasses is famous in Persian cuisine, and some Turkish foods, but I honestly have no idea.

Ok so pour four cups of pomegranate juice into a pot, add juice of a half of lemon, a half a cup of sugar, and cook it on medium until it starts to simmer, and then lower it to low, and let it cook until thickened, about 50-60 minutes.

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Now the way you know it’s nice and thick is the spoon-swipe trick, like so:

Take a spoon, and dip it in the syrup, and wipe your finger across the spoon, and if the streak your finger makes stays, then you know your syrup is good and thick.

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Ok so now that you have your pomegranate molasses, you can do many things with it. I honestly had it in my braincicles to make a lamb with the pomegranate molasses, but was too lazy to get lamb, and had chicken in the house, so Chicken with Pomegranate molasses it was.

I started by cutting up some onions and some garlic, and placed them on the bottom of the pan. I put the chicken on top of the onions, salted and peppered them up, and since the pomegranate was cooking up on the stove, I decided to take some of the then pomegranate syrup, and poured about a half a cup of the syrup on the bottom of the chicken pot.

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I had the oven pre-heated at 450, and let the chicken cook for 20 minutes. I then had to let it sit around until the molasses was ready, and when the molasses was ready, I slathered those li’l pollos with the pomegranate molasses, and let it cook at 350 for another 20 minutes or so.

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Ok so the moment of truth, how was it all? Well to be honest, the chicken tasted good, not great, but pretty good. (I feel like you can’t say that on a food blog, because I have to make you guys think that everything I make is amazing, well truth be told some stuff are just amazing [without the italics], but that doesn’t mean it tasted like sock stew, it just might not be foie gras [shout out to Nechemia Gertner for the foie gras..gracias]).

As for the molasses, well, I actually thickened it up a little too much, and when it completely cooled down, it ended up looking like pomegranate toffee, but no biggie, I was able to work with it, by heating it up a little so I could spread it on the chicken easier.

But wait – I didn’t use the whole pomegranate molasses on the chicken, I had some leftover molasses to mess around, so tune in until the next time I decide to not be lazy, and prepared to be wowed.

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Pomegranate Chicken with Pomegranate Molasses

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Pom Wonderful
  • 1/2 a lemon juiced
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 4 chicken bottoms
  • 2-3 medium onions, cut into half moon slices
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

Directions:

For the Molasses –

  1. Combine the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and sugar, and bring to a simmer on medium heat
  2. Lower to low, and cook until thickens up, about 50-60 minutes.

For Chicken –

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450
  2. Put onion and garlic on bottom of pan, and place chicken on top of it, and pour a 1/2 cup of pomegranate syrup over everything (you can reserve 1/2 a cup of of the syrup before it thickens down to molasses if you make the molasses in advance). Cook for 15-20 minutes
  3. Spread the molasses over all the pieces, and lower the oven to 350, and cook for another 20-25 minutes, or until done