These lightly spiced little cakes can be prepared in advance (they will keep in an airtight box for a few days), then gently warmed before serving. You can bake them in a number of different tins depending on what you have to hand – I use madeleine tins but you could just as easily use muffin, mini loaf or kugelhopf tins – although they will take slightly longer to bake and make fewer cakes.
Pistachio and rose madeleines with orange and pomegranate salad
- Preparation time: 40 minutes
- Cooking time: 20 minutes
- Total time: 1 minute
125g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra, melted, for greasing
100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g unsalted, shelled pistachios
100g caster sugar
75g clear honey, plus 2 tbsp for glazing
½-1 tsp rosewater
4 eggs, 2 lightly beaten, 2 separated
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
2 cardamom pods, crushed, pods discarded and seeds finely ground
ORANGE AND POMEGRANATE SALAD
75g caster sugar
3 oranges, 1 juiced, 2 segmented
½ pomegranate, seeds
150ml sheeps’ milk yogurt
4 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp slivered pistachios
edible dried rose petals (optional)
1. Brush 2 x 12-hole madeleine tins with the melted butter, making sure that every crease is coated. Lightly dust with flour, turn the tins over and tap on the work surface to knock out any excess flour.
2. Put 75g pistachios in a food processor and whizz until just coarser than ground almonds: stop before they become oily. Finely chop the remaining 25g pistachios and set both aside separately.
3. Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of a freestanding mixer and beat for 2 minutes, until pale. Add the honey and rosewater and mix again to combine. Gradually add the beaten whole eggs, mixing well between each addition.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder, spices and a pinch of salt into the mixing bowl, add the ground pistachios and fold everything together. In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold 1 / 3 of the egg whites into the cake mixture to loosen, then carefully fold in the rest. Divide between the tins, scatter over the remaining pistachios and set aside to chill for 20 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 170˚C, gas mark 3. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 12 minutes (for madeleines) or until the cakes are well risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middles comes out clean.
6. Warm 2 tbsp honey over a low heat. Turn the madeleines out of the tins and onto a cooling rack. Brush the scalloped side with a little honey; set aside to cool.
7. Meanwhile, make the orange salad. Tip the sugar and 1 tbsp water into a small saucepan and set over a low heat to dissolve the sugar, without stirring. Increase the heat and cook until it becomes an amber caramel. Remove from the heat and add the orange juice – it will hiss and spit. Return the pan to a low heat to remelt any hardened caramel. Bring to the boil, then take off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.
8. Put the orange segments in a bowl and pour over the caramel,mixing gently to combine. Leave to cool to room temperature, then stir in the pomegranate seeds.
9. To serve, mix the yogurt with 2 tbsp honey. Arrange 2 cakes on each plate and spoon some of the honey yogurt and orange and pomegranate salad alongside. Scatter with the slivered pistachios and rose petals (if using), plus a drizzle more honey, before serving.