The Chocolate Adventure Contest

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Wasabi Pom Poms

Here's a recipe for making Scharffen Berger Chocolate Wasabi Pom-Poms, which are essentially dark chocolate wasabi covered pomegranate seeds. They make great, fruity "bon bons" that work as a party appetizer or small dessert. It's a sweet, pomegranate seed version of wasabi peas.

Yields 40-50 pieces.

INGREDIENTS

  • 40 - 50 Seeds from 1 Pomegranate
  • 1 tsp prepared wasabi paste (purchased in a tube)
  • 1 tsp Scharffen Berger Natural Cocoa Powder
  • 40g (8 of the 5g squares) of Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao Bittersweet

TOOLS

  • Chocolate melter or two nesting bowls
  • Chopsticks
  • 1 sheet of foil (approximately 12" x 12")

Assembling the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Wasabi Pom-Poms

  1. Prepare a small bowl of pomegranate seeds. See the "Pomegranate Seeds" section below for advice on seeding pomegranates.
  2. Set out a sheet of foil.
  3. Mix the wasabi with the cocoa powder in a bowl. Set aside nearby.
  4. Melt the chocolate. (see the "Melted Chocolate" section below if you need further instructions).
  5. There are several ways to apply the wasabi:
    • If a strong flavor is desired, mix the wasabi mixture into the melted chocolate thoroughly before beginning to dip the seeds.
    • If a small sting is desirable, set the wasabi aside and, after coating the seeds in chocolate and chilling them in the refrigerator, touch them to the wasabi paste lightly.
    • This recipe also works well without the wasabi at all, as just plain dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds.
  6. Using chopsticks or small tongs, pick up one pomegranate seed and dip into the chocolate until fully covered. Apply wasabi as you wish, described above.
  7. Place each covered seed onto the sheet of foil, spaced 1" apart so that it is easier to pick them up off the foil later.
  8. Refrigerate until the chocolate has re-solidified. This typically takes 5 minutes in a cold fridge. Serve cold. They should be easy to pick up off the foil by hand.
  9. If you wish to batch process them and don't mind a thicker coat, you can dump 5-10 seeds into the chocolate at once, stir, then fish them out one by one with chopsticks.

Pomegranate Seeds

  1. Wash, then slice the ends of the pomegranate off. Score the peel of the pomegranate vertically as you would an orange, being careful to avoid cutting the seeds.
  2. Into a bowl filled with room temperature water, gently break the pomegranate into large pieces (2-4 sections is fine). Soak for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Rub the seeds out of the rind; the rind bits should float to the top and the seeds should sink to the bottom.
  4. Throw away the floating rinds and drain the seeds. Let them air dry or wipe them gently with a paper towel to dry them.

Melted Chocolate

If you have a chocolate melter, melt the squares in it. It helps to break them in half as you put them in the chocolate melter.

If you don't, use two nesting bowls:

  1. Fill the outer bowl with hot water, and place the smaller bowl in the middle. The hot water will keep the chocolate warm longer.
  2. Make sure to fill the outer bowl so that the water level is no more than half-way up the side of the inner bowl.
  3. Place the chocolate in the inner bowl, breaking the squares in half as you put them in the bowl. Ideally the chocolate amount should match the water line.
  4. Microwave on medium heat in 30 second increments, stirring periodically until the chocolate is all melted.
  5. This typically takes a total of 90 seconds to melt the chocolate nicely. Don't use high heat to avoid burning the chocolate.

Dust lightly with either powdered sugar or cocoa powder over the little pom-poms. The recommended technique for this is to place the powder on top of a fine mesh and lightly tap the mesh so that the powder snows down on the pom-poms elegantly.

Another presentation technique is to apply the wasabi by drizzling it from a fork. To do this, skip the wasabi during the recipe. Water down the wasabi mixture so that the paste flows nicely by adding 1 tsp water, 1 tsp melted butter (add more water if your paste is not liquefying). Dip the fork into the watery wasabi mixture and drizzle elegantly over the pom-poms.

If you love this recipe as much as we judges did, you may want to dip all of the seeds from the pomegranate, rather than just 40 or 50 of them. If so, just triple the amounts of chocolate, wasabi and cocoa powder (using 4 ounces chocolate and 1 tablespoon each of wasabi paste and cocoa powder). If you're not handy with chopsticks, you can fish the seeds out of the chocolate with a tiny condiment fork or the tip of a dinner knife.
—Alice Medrich

TuttiFoodie.com, Scharffen Berger