The first few times I saw the chocolate-pomegranate combination, I scoffed. I like chocolate and I like fruit, but I do not like them together. No, siree!

But I decided to give a whirl anyway, and boy, am I glad! In this dessert, the tart pomegranate syrup and fresh seeds provide the perfect contrast to the rich chocolate and sweet shortbread crust. I highly recommend it!


Why pomegranate seeds? It’s customary to eat pomegranate on Rosh Hashanah, symbolizing our wish to have a year full of good deeds, as a pomegranate is filled with luscious seeds.

The tart has four layers. There’s the crust, the chocolate ganache filling, the sticky pomegranate syrup and then the seeds.


The crust dough will be quite greasy, but don’t worry. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, and make sure to prick it several times with a fork. Bake it for approximately 30 minutes, until golden in color.


It’s important to use good quality dark chocolate for the ganache filling. Put the chocolate and coconut milk in a small saucepan over a low flame until the chocolate melts. Whisk it until mixture is smooth and silky. Add in sugar and vanilla, and pour into full cooled tart crust. Put the tart in the refrigerator to set.

The pomegranate syrup is probably the trickiest part. Pour the pomegranate juice into a saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower to a very gentle simmer and cook down until it is syrupy and reduced by at least half—approximately 30–45 minutes.

Pour syrup over the set chocolate ganache, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and return to refrigerator until ready to serve.


I don’t suggest leaving out any of the layers, because then it may taste unbalanced. The chocolate is very rich; the pomegranate syrup, very tart. Together, they work.

Tip for deseeding a pomegranate: Do it under water! Cut the pomegranate into quarters and put them into a bowl of water. Use your hands to pop out the seeds and discard the shell. In the bowl, the seeds will sink and the white part will float. Remove the white, drain the water, and you have beautiful, clean seeds. This method also prevents mess and staining.


Crust:

  • 1 cup margarine, melted
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2½ cups flour
  1. Use an 8″ × 11″ tart pan with a removable bottom.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Mix the melted margarine with the sugar. Add vanilla, salt and flour and mix until it reaches cookie dough consistency (mixture will be quite greasy).
  4. Gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the tart tin. Prick the dough with a fork and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes. Crust should be golden in color.

Ganache:

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 8 oz. good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  1. Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add the chopped dark chocolate and let it sit over a very low flame until chocolate begins to melt.
  2. Stir gently until chocolate is fully melted and mixture combines evenly. Add the sugar and stir.
  3. Pour the ganache into the baked tart crust. Refrigerate until chocolate is completely set.

Pomegranate Syrup and Garnish:

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the pomegranate juice and sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower to a gentle simmer and cook until the mixture is syrupy and reduced by at least half.
  2. Pour mixture over the chocolate, and top with the pomegranate seeds. Refrigerate until the syrup is set. Then cover and refrigerate until serving.

Yields: 20 servings


Have you seen my apple-honey-pomegranate pavlova recipe? If you don’t like chocolate, I suggest you try that instead. Alternatively, you can make both! The meringue shell is filled with vanilla honey cream, topped with tart apples and drizzled with a pomegranate coulis. Go for it!


What’s on your Rosh Hashanah menu?