Chocolate Pomegranate Cake

ham root beer, chocolate pomegranate cake

I also made the Christmas cake the day before as I didn't want any stress. It was from the new Maha cookbook by Shane Delia and I was sold on the name and description. Said to be like a Cherry Ripe cake, it uses dark chocolate and pomegranate molasses and is topped with an intriguing glossy olive oil syrup mixture, pine nuts, mint leaves and redcurrants (in the absence of pomegranate at the shops).

Unfortunately the cake looked nothing like the cake in the picture and it actually made me wonder if it was indeed the same cake that they had used in the book. I must admit a swearing Christmas elf came out at that point! But once we tried the cake we were smitten. I'm still not convinced that the cake in the picture is the one that matches the recipe but it is a divine cake-with a slight tanginess that will appeal to the dark chocolate connoisseur or those that like a little liqueur in their cakes although this cake has no liqueur in it at all, just the delicious tang of pomegranate molasses.

Chocolate Pomegranate Cake

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Adapted from Maha by Shane Delia, published by Penguin Lantern Books $49.95

Preparation time: 45 minutes plus 5 hours chilling time

Cooking time: 50 minutes

This cake is best made a day ahead of time


  • 100g/3.5 ozs butter at room temperature

  • 50g/1.7ozs caster sugar

  • 155g/5ozs plain flour

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa, sifted

  • 1 small egg

  • 2 teaspoons pouring cream

Chocolate mousse filling

  • 135g/4.7ozs dark chocolate

  • 65g/2.3 ozs butter

  • 5 egg whites

  • 50g/1.7 ozs caster sugar

  • 2 large egg yolks

Chocolate Ganache

  • 150g/5 ozs dark chocolate

  • 25ml/1 fl oz thickened cream

  • 25ml/1 fl oz pomegranate molasses


  • 50ml/1.7 fl ozs sugar syrup (infused with a pinch of cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and vanilla)

  • 50ml/1.7 fl ozs pomegranate molasses

  • 25ml/1 fl oz extra virgin olive oil

  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate (I couldn't find these so I bought redcurrants)

  • 50g/1.7 ozs pine nuts, toasted

  • small mint leaves

Step 1 - Line a 20cm/8inch springform tin on the base and sides with parchment paper. Make the pastry by placing the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer with a beater attachment and mix until it forms a paste-it won't take long. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just combined (do not overwork). Press into the base of the springform tin (it will be quite soft) and refrigerate for 1 hour.

ham root beer, chocolate pomegranate cake

Step 2 - Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Prick pastry all over with a fork and then bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the mousse filling.

Step 3 - Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure that the base doesn't touch the water) and stir until the chocolate is melted. You can also do this in a microwave on 50% in 60 second bursts making sure to stir between each burst. Cool slightly while you do the beat the egg whites. In a clean bowl with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form and then add the sugar and beat it to make it glossy.

ham root beer, chocolate pomegranate cake

ham root beer, chocolate pomegranate cake

Step 4 - Add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture and then add half of the egg whites folding the mixture gently so as not to lose any air, then add the rest of the egg whites. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.

ham root beer, chocolate pomegranate cake

ham root beer, chocolate pomegranate cake

Step 5 - Make the ganache by melting the chocolate (same method above) and then adding the cream and molasses.Mix until smooth and then spread over the cooled cake with a palette knife. Place in the fridge to set completely, about 4 hours or overnight. When I took mine out, the sides has sunken in so I cut around it removing the sunken bits to make a smaller cake but with sides that were even-ish.

ham root beer, chocolate pomegranate cake
My cake after refrigeration

ham root beer, chocolate pomegranate cake
The picture in the cookbook-which actually looks like a ganache cake rather than a mousse cake

ham root beer, chocolate pomegranate cake

Step 6 - When it comes time to serve, combine the sugar syrup, pomegranate molasses and olive oil and pour over the cake. Dress with pine nuts, mint leaves and redcurrants or pomegranate seeds.

ham root beer, chocolate pomegranate cake

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