Dark Chocolate Vanilla Pomegranate Parfait


In this Most Unusual Holiday Season, you might be seeking some comfort food.  People tend to split into two camps– in times of stress, do you crave salty or sweet?

This is an easy one for me: chocolate.

So I am presenting a recipe that presents chocolate in all its glory.  This recipe gives all the pleasure and comfort that chocolate can bring and is also healthy, if that’s important to you.  As sumptuous and luxurious as it is, this is a low calorie dessert, with the health benefits of all the antioxidants present in dark chocolate. This is a dessert you can enjoy anytime, whether you need comforting or not. It also uses a fun molecular gastronomy technique that you can do without any special equipment. The mousse in this recipe is based on a technique described on Food52 of incorporating air into chocolate melted with water to produce a simple, light, and rich chocolate mousse.  I’ve layered it with the contrasting flavors, colors, and textures of lightly sweetened Greek yogurt and seasonal pomegranate seeds.  

Dark Chocolate Vanilla Pomegranate Parfait

Serves 4 to 6


¾ cup (6 ounces) water 

8 oz. bittersweet (70 percent cacao) chocolate, coarsely chopped 

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

Ice cubes (enough to fill half of a large mixing bowl) 

2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt 

4 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar 

2 tsp. vanilla extract 

¾ cup pomegranate arils (seeds) from half to a whole pomegranate, depending on size 


1. Pour the water into a saucepan and warm over medium-low heat. Add the chocolate and cinnamon and whisk until smooth.
2. Set the saucepan in a large bowl partly filled with ice cubes — or, for a faster chill, pour the chocolate mixture into another bowl set over the ice. Whisk the chocolate sauce, either manually with a whisk or with an electric mixer. (If using an electric mixer, watch closely, as it will thicken faster.) Whisking creates large air bubbles in the sauce, which steadily thickens. This will take 5 to 10 minutes, until your chocolate sauce has thickened to the consistency of cake batter. Remove immediately from the ice bath, or else it will solidify. Set aside.
3. Whisk together the yogurt with the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract.
4. In wine or other clear glasses, layer ⅓ cup of mousse with alternating layers of the sweetened yogurt to make 4 layers total, ending with the yogurt.
5. Top with a few tablespoons of pomegranate arils. Serve immediately, or wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate to serve later.

Nutrition info (per serving for 6 servings): Calories 96; Carbohydrates 18g; Fat 1g; Protein 10g; Sodium 1 mg; Sugar 17 g