rose, cardamom & pistachio cake

Some people deserve happiness, smiles, and cake. Definitely cake. Actually, a cake such as this is a pretty good way to tell someone that they rock. This one in particular was made for my nearest & dearest Clio…. the girl is leaving me! What can I say? She’s off to go be incredibly talented in London…. I’m a little jealous since she has just enrolled in an incredible pastry school & I just know she’s going to rock their socks off.

Clio my darling, making this for you was an absolute pleasure & I am so happy that you enjoyed it.


….oh, & a couple words about the cake wouldn’t be a half bad idea. The cake has a very middle-eastern flair & flavor to it that is completely delicious. If you find that the texture of the semolina is just a little too out there for your taste-buds, try substituting it with flour instead. The same can be done for the yogurt in the icing, mascarpone makes a wonderful substitution that takes away the sourness that the yogurt can sometimes add.

Ingredients, cake:
– 1 tsp cardamom
– 150g pistachios
– 100g almonds
– 170g semolina flour (or all purpose)
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 300g unsalted butter, room temp
– 330g caster sugar
– 4 eggs
– 1 lemon, zested
– 15ml lemon juice
– 30ml rose water
– 0.5 tsp vanilla extract

Directions, cake:
1. pre heat the oven to 175°C. Grease & line a 22cm spring-form cake tin with parchment.
2. combine the cardamom, pistachios & almonds in a food processor & blend until a fine powder. Add in the semolina & baking powder & stir to mix.
3. in a separate bowl, cream together the butter & sugar until light & airy.
4. beat in the eggs until the mixture turns lighter in colour, and then beat in the lemon juice, rose water & vanilla.
5. fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.
6. bake for approx. 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
7. whilst the cake is still hot & inside the tin, poke with holes & pour over the syrup for the recipe below.

Ingredients, syrup:
– 120ml lemon juice
– 100ml rose water (or 1 tbs rose jam)
– 120g sugar

Directions, syrup:
1. combine together the ingredients in a large saucepan & bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow to cook until it begins to thicken a little. Be careful to pay close attention as it can quickly go from a nice syrup to a burnt sugary mess.
2. pour the syrup over the cake whilst it is still hot.

Ingredients, icing:
– 200g yogurt (or mascarpone)
– 200g heavy cream
– 20g icing sugar
– 15ml rose water

Directions, icing:
1. in a large bowl, add the cream, icing sugar & rose water. Using a hand mixer, beat until stiff. Fold in the yogurt.
2. allow the cake to cool completely before adding the icing.
3. if you wish to decorate the cake, it looks lovely with rose petals & pistachios.

…for more recipes from us, check out our archives.

recipe source: ottolenghi


2 thoughts on “rose, cardamom & pistachio cake

  1. Great recipe! I just baked this for a friend’s wedding at the weekend.

    Only thing I would change is to really who skip the eggs first til they’re really stuff and fluffy, then alternate with the sieved flour until mix reaches dropping consistency. I found it a bit runny still so added a bit more ground almond to stiffen it up a notch.

    I covered the cake in overn and put a panic hot water underneath to help the cake rise evenly on the second time around that I made it and covered the top with brown paper with a hole cut in it Much better result!

    For the icing I just estimated the amount I wanted and added the lemon juice and rose water to mix to a smooth paste.

    I then whizzed up some pistachios and sprinkled in a circle around the edge of the cake and board, and added rose petals and freeze dried raspberries for colour.

    It was a huge success and the consistency was perfect! This is my go to recipe now, thanks! Xx

    • Hi Catherine, I realise you left this moment a while ago & that I’m only just now getting to it. I’m thrilled that you had such success with it & your alterations to the method are wonderful. Generally speaking I find cakes cooked with whipped egg-whites to have a better texture, it’s a step that only the truly dedicated will take. I’ll have to try your baking method though. I’m glad you loved the recipe, it sounds like you made a truly beautiful cake entirely with your own creativity. I find that’s the best way to bake, if you see a recipe that inspires you, make it your own any way you can & use it as a jumping off point for your own amazing ideas.

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