Thanks to Lindsay from POM I got delivery of a box of POM Wonderful juice which is 100% authentic pomegranate juice made from the Wonderful variety of pomegranates. I had seen these curvy bottles at Woolworths in the fruit and vegetables section, but never thought to try a bottle because to be honest, it is a bit beyond me to pay $5 for a small bottle of juice which I didn’t know much about.
Now I know POM Wonderful juice has all natural ingredients, no added sugar or artificial additives and is packed with good antioxidants to help neutralise free radicals. POM Wonderful juice rated the highest in the antioxidant potency index against other drinks such as red wine, grape juice and green tea. It was interesting to learn that POM has invested tens of millions of dollars into researching the health benefits of the Wonderful variety of pomegranates.
POM Wonderful juice has a deep red colour, similar in appearance and taste to cranberry juice but not as sweet. It leaves a slightly tart taste in the mouth which people who like sweet juices won’t enjoy. I personally didn’t mind it. I’ve never eaten pomegranate so I’m not sure whether this juice is a reflection of the fruit itself but I would presume so, since it is made with real pomegranates, not a flavouring.
The first thought that came into my head when I was thinking what to make with the juice was red velvet cupcakes. I have always wanted to make red velvet cake, but have been scared off by the copious amounts of red food colouring it called for. I thought it would be a clever idea to reduce down some of the POM Wonderful juice and use it as a substitute for red colouring. Err, not such a good idea! My red velvet cupcakes turned into brown velvet cupcakes because the colouring wasn’t strong enough. They tasted sensational though, so I will have to make them again with proper red food colouring.
I then experimented with substituting the milk in normal vanilla cupcakes and vanilla buttercream for the POM Wonderful juice. The first batch I made I used the juice straight from the bottle but the cupcake went brown instead of a nice pink I was expecting! The next batch I tried reducing the juice down by half hoping for a more concentrated colour, but the colour of the cupcake turned out the same so I wouldn’t bother wasting the juice by reducing it. The batch with the juice straight from the bottle actually tasted better.
POM Wonderful juice cupcakes with POM Wonderful pink buttercream
120g butter, softened
165g caster sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
210g self raising flour, sifted
125ml (½ cup) POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Line 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake papers.
2. Beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. This may take up to 5 minutes.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on a low speed until just combined.
4. Add flour in three batches and juice in two batches, starting and ending with the flour (add one third flour, half juice, one third flour, remaining half juice and remaining one third flour). Mix on low speed after each addition. Try not to overmix.
5. Pour mixture into cupcake papers until ¾ full.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine were in for 20 minutes.
7. Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool, then ice as below.
For POM Wonderful juice pink buttercream
80g butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar
3 tbs POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until pale (approx. 3 minutes).
2. Add one cup of icing sugar and beat until combined before adding one more cup of icing sugar and beating.
3. After 2 cups of icing sugar, add in the juice and beat until combined.
4. Add the last cup of icing sugar and beat well. At this stage your icing should be quite airy and light.
5. Fill a piping bag with a star nozzle attached with some of the icing. Starting from the outside, pipe a swirl.
- If your icing is too stiff, add more juice. If it is too soft, add extra icing sugar or put it in the fridge to harden for about 10-15 minutes.
- If you don’t have a piping bag or nozzle, you can use a knife to spread on the icing.
- I like to put my iced cupcakes in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes so that the piped icing can set, then remove them and store in an airtight container.
- These cupcakes do not need to be refrigerated and can be kept for up to 3 days.
Results: The cupcakes didn’t turn out a nice pink I was expecting, but they still tasted great. There wasn’t a strong pomegranate flavour, but it was definitely different from using milk. The cupcakes were light and fluffy and not too sweet. The icing did however, turn a lovely shade of pink and had a slight sour taste to counteract all the sweetness from the icing sugar. I brought some to work and some to a Melbourne Cup Day BBQ and everyone really enjoyed them. One girl from work who never comments much on my baked goodies actually came up to my desk and said they were really good!
You could also substitute the pomegranate juice in the recipe for another type of juice.
Would I make them again? Yes, definitely. The pink icing is so pretty!
Over & Out, Rilsta xx