Chef's Recipes

Milk cake with pomegranate and pistachio

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for milk cake with pomegranate and pistachio by Catherine Adams from Rockpool.

By Catherine Adams
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus chilling
  • Serves 15
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Milk cake with pomegranate and pistachio
“This cake of South American origin is normally served smothered in dulce de leche (caramelised condensed milk). I’ve gone with rose-scented Italian meringue, pomegranate seeds and pistachios. The pomegranate seeds and the pistachios add a nice crunch and the seeds a tartness that help balance out the sweetness of the meringue.” You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 70 gm blanched pistachio kernels (see note) (½ cup)
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate
Milk cake
  • 300 gm plain flour, sieved (2 cups)
  • 2 tsp baking powder, sieved
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 275 gm caster sugar
  • 125 ml milk (½ cup)
  • 30 ml dark rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For greasing: butter
  • 500 ml condensed milk
  • 475 ml evaporated milk
  • 375 ml pouring cream (1½ cups)
Italian meringue
  • 180 gm caster sugar
  • 85 ml eggwhites (about 2½)
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp rosewater
Milk sauce
  • 120 ml evaporated milk
  • 90 ml condensed milk
  • 70 ml pouring cream


  • 1
    For milk cake, preheat oven to 180C. Sift flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl and set aside. Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer until frothy, add sugar gradually, whisking to a stiff meringue. Add yolks one at a time, whisk until combined, fold in milk and flour mixture alternately. Fold in rum and vanilla, pour into a buttered and floured 23cm x 33cm Pyrex pan and bake until cake springs back when lightly pressed (25-35 minutes). Prick cake all over with a skewer and keep warm. Meanwhile, combine condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream in a bowl. Pour over cake and cool to room temperature (1-1½ hours). Cover, refrigerate to firm (overnight).
  • 2
    For Italian meringue, combine sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves, increase heat to high, brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals. Cook until syrup reaches 121C on a sugar thermometer (6-9 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk eggwhite and cream of tartar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually pour hot syrup over eggwhites in a steady stream, whisking continuously on medium speed, then whisk until cooled, thick and glossy (10-12 minutes). Add rosewater, whisk to combine.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for milk sauce, combine ingredients in a jug.
  • 4
    To serve, spread Italian meringue over top of cake. Grate 2 tablespoons of pistachios over cake with a microplane. Cut cake into 15 pieces, place in bowls, spoon milk sauce around, cut remaining pistachios into slivers and scatter around with pomegranate seeds.


Blanched pistachios are available from select delicatessens and online from Pariya Food.
This recipe is from the September 2010 issue of

  • Author: Catherine Adams