Pistachio and Rose Water Semolina Cake

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh, this has structure, flavor, and visual impact. The beaten egg whites add lift to the texture, resulting in a lighter cake.

Seen here without the rose cream and pomegranate topping.


  1. Candied Edible Flowers
  2. 1 large egg white
  3. 40 pesticide free flower petals
  4. 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  5. Cake Topping
  6. 1/4 cup pistachios
  7. 1/4 cup almonds
  8. 3 tbsp cane sugar
  9. 1 tbsp salt
  10. 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  11. Cake
  12. 6 cardamom pods
  13. 1 cup shelled pistachio kernels
  14. 1 cup almonds
  15. 1 cup semolina
  16. 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  17. 1/2 tsp salt
  18. 1 1/3 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  19. 1 2/3 cups cane sugar
  20. 4 large eggs, separated
  21. zest of 2 medium or 1 large lemon
  22. 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  23. 2 tbsp rose water
  24. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  25. Rose Cream
  26. 2 cups heavy cream
  27. 1 cup home made creme fraiche (see separate recipe)
  28. 1 tbsp cane sugar
  29. 1 tbsp rose water
  30. 1 cup pomegranate arils
  31. Rose Syrup
  32. 1/2 cup lemon juice
  33. 1/3 cup rose water
  34. 1/2 cup cane sugar


  1. Candied Rose Petals – Preheat oven to 200º

  2. Laquer egg white on petal, sprinkle sugar on each side, place on baking sheet lined with silpat. Bake for 30 mins. Remove to cooling rack.

  3. Cake Topping

  4. In food processor, combine almonds and 1 tbsp sugar until fine. Reserve.

  5. Roughly chop pistachios.

  6. In small saucepan add butter over medium heat. When melted, add pistachios until coated.

  7. In a small mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp salt with 1 ramekin cardamom. Whisk together.

  8. Toss pistachios until coated. In a fine sieve, gently shake and reserve.

  9. Cake – Increase oven to 350º

  10. Grease a 9 inch pan and line with parchment paper.

  11. Pick through pistachios for any off color nuts. Roast all pistachios for 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  12. Roast all almonds for 7-8 minutes, set aside to cool.

  13. Crack cardamom pods, 3 at a time, grind and reserve separately. (If you’re obsessive/compulsive, you can cover the ramekin with plastic wrap so no flavor is lost.)

  14. In food processor, grind 1 cup pistachios with 1 tbsp sugar until coarse, not fine. Repeat for 1 cup almonds.

  15. Rub lemon peel with 1 tbsp sugar until fine.

  16. Add pistachios, almonds, one ramekin cardamom, semolina, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until mixed and reserve.

  17. Place butter and remaining sugar in bowl of an electric mixer with paddle. Beat on medium-high speed until combined.

  18. Reduce speed to low. Add egg yolks one at a time, scraping the side of the bowl as necessary. Add rose water, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until just combined.

  19. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl.

  20. Clean electric mixing bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.

  21. Add dry ingredients to wet, fold together. Add 1/4 of egg white, mix with spatula until combined. Add 1/4 more egg white, folding. Add remaining 1/2 egg white, folding in more gently this time.

  22. Add batter to pan, level with small offset spatula.Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

  23. Rose Syrup

  24. You want the syrup to be warm when the cake comes out of the oven, so 10 minutes before the cake is ready, combine ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, stir so the sugar dissolves, and set aside.

  25. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour evenly over the top. Sprinkle with almond mixture and pistachios. Set on cooling rack to room temperature. Remove from pan. Add flowers. Serve with rose cream and pomegranate arils.

  26. Rose cream

  27. Whip heavy cream until stiff, adding sugar and rose water halfway through. Remove and fold in creme fraiche. Refrigerate until needed.

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