Cardamom, Rose & Pistachio Cakes with Coconut Ice Cream

I have a confession to make.


I have entered into a secret affair…

With cardamom.


I am totally, utterly, shamefully obsessed, adding it to everything with unrestrained fervour.

I know I should not give my cooking over so completely to one spice, but I just can’t help it, I’m in love.

indian-dessert cardamom-cake

So, why the secret, you ask?

Well, my other half does not feel the same way about cardamom as I do.

In fact, he hates it. Along with cinnamon, cloves, and basically anything woody, to use his words.

Or, so he thinks he does…

He has actually devoured all that has contained cardamom as readily as a salted caramel cheesecake. So, I suppose it’s probably about time I revealed the truth.


This dessert was crafted for an Indian dinner party I hosted. Not an Indian dessert, clearly, but it fit well with the theme of the night, and there were no authenticity complaints from my group of London dwelling guests…

Indian inspired is the key word here… There’s no need to try and make everything perfectly by the book. In fact, the best part of cooking for me is experimenting and making something my own.

So, in saying that, you certainly could make this dessert without the cardamom if you’re really not a fan. I won’t judge, promise.

My favourites for this bake…

Click the image to shop the product.


Cardamom, Rose & Pistachio Cakes with Coconut Ice Cream

A delicate semolina cake flavoured with cardamom, pistachio and freeze-dried raspberry pieces, soaked in a rose water syrup and served with a white chocolate & rose mousse, chopped pistachios, crushed freeze-dried raspberries and creamy coconut ice cream.

Yield: eight 4″ cakes (or 12 muffin sized cakes)



For the coconut ice cream

75g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
480ml coconut cream
300ml double cream
200ml whole milk
170g caster sugar
6 egg yolks
2 tsp coconut extract (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

For the rose syrup

2 Tbsp orange juice
225g caster sugar
1 cup water
2 tsp rose water

For the white chocolate & rose mousse

50ml double cream
1/2 tsp rose water
40g white chocolate
25ml coconut cream
1 large egg, separated
1/8 tsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp caster sugar

Note: I have used double the above recipe in the images presented in the method section below. The above ingredient quantities are more than enough for decorating your dessert (you will still have some to spare – oh no, what will you do with it!) but as a mousse on its own the above ingredients would make only two small servings.

For the rose & cardamom semolina cakes

4 eggs, separated
160g +15g (3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp) caster sugar
250g ricotta
150g butter
180g fine semolina flour
100g almond meal
70g chopped pistachios
12g (3tsp) baking powder
12 cardamom pods, seeds only
30ml whole milk
18g freeze-dried raspberry pieces


For the coconut ice cream

Pulse the desiccated coconut in a food processor and set aside – this step is not necessary, it will just make for a smoother texture.


Combine the coconut cream, double cream and whole milk in a saucepan and heat to a gentle simmer. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until light and creamy.

homemade-coconut-ice-cream coconut-ice-cream

Remove the milk mixture from the heat and strain into a jug. Leave to rest for a minute, then pour the milk mixture onto the egg yolks and whisk together.


Pour the combined mixture back into the saucepan and add the dessicated coconut. Stir over a low heat until mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and pour immediately into a freezer safe bowl, then cover and leave to cool.

Tip: watch the mixture carefully at this stage, if you heat too much or for too long, the eggs will curdle.

Once cool, place the bowl in the freezer. Every half hour, remove the bowl from the freezer and beat with an electric beater to break up the frozen pieces. Do this until the ice cream has almost set, then pour into a container and back into the freezer.

homemade-ice-cream coconut-ice-cream

For the rose syrup


Place the orange juice, sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for ten minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by no more than half.

Remove from the heat and stir in the rose syrup, then pour into a jug and set aside to cool.

For the white chocolate & rose mousse

Whip the double cream and rose water to soft peaks, then place in the refrigerator until needed.


Place the chocolate and coconut cream into a bowl and leave to melt over a double boiler. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolk until pale and creamy.


Once the chocolate has melted, beat it into the egg yolk while it is still warm. Leave to cool, then gradually fold the chocolate mixture into the chilled cream one third at a time. Place back into the fridge until ready to use.

_MG_3181 white-chocolate-rose-mousse

Beat the egg white in a clean, dry bowl (glass is better than plastic) using clean, dry beaters. Once the egg white begins to foam add the lemon juice, and then the sugar, continuing to beat as you go.

Gently fold the beaten egg white into the chilled cream mixture.

Prepare a piping bag, placing it inside a tall glass and folding the edges over so that it stands upright, then pour the mousse into the bag, cover the top, and refrigerate overnight.


For the rose & cardamom semolina cakes

Preheat oven to 165°C/325° F/Gas Mark 3, then grease your 4″ (10 cm) cake tins with butter and line the base with baking paper.

Grind the cardamom seeds to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle, then combine the ground cardamom, semolina flour, almond meal, chopped pistachios and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.

cardamom semolina-cake

In a large bowl, beat the butter and 160g of sugar, then add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition, then add the ricotta.

_MG_3199 _MG_3202

Fold in the dry mixture, then add the milk and beat until just combined. Fold in the freeze-dried raspberries.

_MG_3203 cardamom-pistachio-raspberry-cake

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then add the remaining 15g of sugar and continue to beat until the peaks have stiffened.

Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture, taking care not to deflate the whites too much.

_MG_3205 indian-cake

Spoon the mixture into your cake tins, then bake each cake in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a cake skewer comes out clean.

Pierce each cake all over with a toothpick or cake skewer, then drizzle one tablespoons of rose syrup over each while it is still in the tin.


Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the tin and place it on a cooling rack.

To serve

Take the ice cream from the freezer at least twenty minutes before you serve dessert.

If you have made 4″ cakes, use a round cookie cutter just slightly smaller than your cakes to cut off the edges.


Drizzle room temperature rose syrup over the tops of each cake (it’s up to you how much you use, but I used about 2 Tbsp per cake), then scatter some freeze-dried raspberries and pistachios around the edge of the plate.


Take the white chocolate rose mousse out of the fridge and cut off the tip of the piping bag, then pipe small amounts of the mousse around the plate, decorating as you please.

Finally, place a scoop of the softened coconut ice-cream on top of each cake and scatter with a few more freeze-dried raspberries.


Enjoy… x


7 thoughts on “Cardamom, Rose & Pistachio Cakes with Coconut Ice Cream

  1. I made a dairy and sugar free coconut carob/cacao ice cream, turned out quite well I think, we all loved it so must have been ok.

    The ingredients may not be exact as I tend to make things up as I go, I much prefer to go by taste, much better fun this way than working from a recipe 🙂 So the following would need to be approached with the same view.

    3 egg yolks and one full egg
    half to 1 cup coconut cream (preferably home made from young coconuts)
    1 pear
    tsp vanilla bean powder
    Very small amount of stevia powder, about 1/20 tsp (preferably the plant base powder and not the crystal form)
    Let your taste buds be your guide on the next three ingredients
    About 1 and half to 2 tbsp carob powder
    about 1 to 2 tsp raw cacao powder
    Optional but yummier if used, 1 to 2 dates

    Blend all ingredients together well using a hand blender, put in freezer for about 3 to 4 hours or use an ice cream maker

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s