Saffron & Spice

Coconut Dream Cake

When you taste the batter for this coconut cake, you’ll just know..Just dreamy… enjoy x


Coconut Dream Cake

Coconut and Saffron Sponge,

topped with a Cardamom Cream & Pistachios

Serves 1 – 8 (Nah judgement here)


For the Cake – 

250g Unsalted Butter 

250g Castor Sugar 

4 Large eggs 

125g Dessicated coconut 

For the whipped cream – 

300ml Double Cream 

1/2 tsp Crushed cardamom 

25g Castor Sugar 

Topping – 

Nibbed pistachios to scatter over the cream 



Preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5. Butter and line a 23cm / 9 inch cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually whip in the eggs one at a time until well mixed. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well. Pour the batter into the cake tin and smooth over.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 -35 minutes until the cake is set and spongy to touch. Cool the cake slightly in the tin, then turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Whip the double cream with 25g of castor sugar and the crushed cardamom until soft peaks and smooth onto the cake. Scatter the pistachio nibs on top and serve.. Feel good at first slice…


Cheats Shrikhand

✨This is my mum’s quick fix, perfect for when you want dessert in a hurry (Alwayss) ? Mix a tub of Greek yoghurt with 4tbsps of icing sugar, 1/4tsp of crushed cardamom, a pinch of saffron, and serve with sliced almonds, crushed pistachios and a little more saffron ✨ Not the same texture as the original, but still all the delicious sweetness and spice ✨


Cheats Shrikhand

Serves 4 


500g Greek yoghurt 

4 tbsps icing sugar

A generous pinch of saffron 

1/4 tsp crushed cardamon seeds

A sprinkle of sliced almonds and crushed pistachios


Mix the Greek yoghurt with the icing sugar, crushed cardamom, a pinch of saffron, and serve with sliced almonds, crushed pistachios and a little more saffron.


Mysore Coffee Ice Cream: Indian Coffee Ice Cream, flavoured with Cardamom & topped with Crushed Salted Peanut Brittle

But first, coffee.. Always how I start my day and pretty much how I like to finish off a night too (oh heyy expresso martinis).. and a Mysore filter coffee, is another great little finisher to dinner.. sweet with condensed milk, frothy as, and flavoured with crushed cardamom.. This ice cream has all the flavour of this famous coffee and no fuss as no churning is needed.. (yaaas). with crushed salted peanut chikki, to give that little hit of salty sweet crunch on top.


Mysore Coffee Ice Cream 

Indian Coffee Ice Cream, flavoured with Cardamom,

& topped with Crushed Salted Peanut Brittle

Serves 4


For the Ice Cream – 

A bag of Mysore coffee expresso

300ml double cream 

175g condensed milk 

1/4 tsp crushed cardamom seeds

For the Brittle – 

40g roasted salted peanuts

75g golden castor sugar



But first coffee.. Make 8 cups of Mysore expresso in an expresso maker.. When brewed, pour the coffee into a small milk pan and out on a medium heat. Reduce the coffee down until you have about 2 tablespoons of intense coffeeness and set in the fridge to cool.



Whip the cream, condensed milk, cold coffee and crushed cardamom together until light and airy and spoon the mixture into an airtight container. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight.



Now the brittle.. In a small pan, heat the golden castor sugar with 1 tbsp water until it dissolves and cook to a dark caramel. Once the sugar has caramelised, add the peanuts and swirl the caramel around, making sure you coat all the nuts.



Spread out the brittle on a piece of baking parchment and leave to cool. Once cool, roughly chop the brittle.




Serve fat scoops and top with chunks of salted peanut brittle.. Feel good at first scoop… x


Shrikhand Ice Cream Sandwiches: Pillowy ice cream, flavoured with saffron, cardamom & pistachios.. in between flaky, buttery puri

Summertime.. and it’s almost like an Indian summer here.. which means ice cream is all I can think about.. 

Traditionally in Gujarat, shrikhand is eaten with puri, the combination of which.. is summertime for me.. the thick strained yoghurt, infused with saffron, nutmeg and cardamom, sweet with sugar and so cold from the fridge, topped with crushed pistachios, with the crisp, buttery, crumbly puri.. you know that moment of peace after the first bite of a delicious cold dessert on a hot summers day.. Yeah, that..

This recipe is a kind of shrikhand ice cream, made by whipping thick greek yoghurt with double cream with the saffron, cardamom and nutmeg to give a lightness to the consistency but keeping the flavours of a traditional shrikhand.. and no churning required.. You just have to pour the mixture into a tub and freeze.. before you sandwich a scoop in between a couple of crisp puris, of course.. x

Shrikhand Ice Cream Sandwiches

Pillowy ice cream, flavoured with saffron, cardamom

& pistachios.. in between flaky, buttery puri


For the Shrikhand Ice Cream – 

150ml double cream 

150g greek yoghurt 

175g condensed milk 

1/8 tsp crushed cardamom seeds 

1/8 tsp grated nutmeg 

A generous pinch of saffron 

For the Puri – Makes 8 

110g plain flour 

110g semolina flour 

1 1/2 tbsps melted ghee 

Cold milk to bind (Whole or semi-skimmed should do it)

Vegetable oil for frying 

To serve – 

40g crushed pistachios 

40g flaked almonds



Whip the cream, condensed milk and yoghurt with the saffron, crushed cardamom and grated nutmeg until light and airy. Adding the yoghurt means that the mixture won’t get as airy as whipped cream proper but try to get the mixture as light as you can. Once whipped, spoon the mixture into an airtight container and freeze overnight or for at least 6 hours.



Now for the puri. Mix the flours with the ghee and add just enough milk to bind the dough. The consistency of the dough should be medium, not be too hard so that you can’t roll out the puri easily, and not too soft that the puri get too thin when rolled with pressure. 

Once the dough has formed, divide into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Roll out each puri to the thickness of 7mm and, using the end of a wooden spoon handle, press the handle tip into each puri so that you make a dent in the dough. Make 6 or 7 dents on each puri, which will stop the puri from puffing up when frying and gives the puri a close crumbly kind of texture which goes perfectly with sweet shrikhand..

Deep fry the puri, one at a time, on a low/medium heat so that the puri has time to cook all the way through, they should be a glorious light golden crisp when ready.. Drain onto kitchen towel and let them cool.. 


When ready to serve, put a fat scoop of the shrikhand ice cream in between a couple of the puris to make a sandwich, and sprinkle the crushed pistachios and flaked almonds over the ice cream.. Feel good at first crumbly bite.. 

13659015_10154276388037095_1059298033659247191_n (1)

Bananas in a Coconut Caramel and a Pistachio and Cardamom Crumble

Hot bananas in a coconut caramel, with a crushed pistachio, coconut and cardamom crumble..  I first posted this crumble topping with new season peaches last summer and recently tried it with some overripe bananas for a quick wintry weekday pudding (because girls..).. the combination of the soft sweet bananas and coconut milk and sugar caramel with the toasted coconut, crushed pistachios and cardamom… Just y e s… now pass that double cream.. x 


Banana Crumble 

Bananas in a Coconut Caramel and a Pistachio and Cardamom Crumble

Serves 4


7 tbsp coconut sugar

7 tbsp water

120ml coconut milk 

1/4 tsp vanilla essence 

4 medium bananas, sliced 

For the Crumble Topping – 

100g plain flour 

50g coconut sugar

80g cold unsalted butter

30g desiccated coconut

30g pistachios, finely chopped

1/4 tsp crushed cardamom seeds



Pre-heat your oven to 180c. First the crumble topping. Rub the cold butter into the flour until you get those fine breadcrumbs.

_MG_7982 _MG_7986

Add 50g of the coconut sugar, the desiccated coconut, chopped pistachios and the crushed cardamom and mix. Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge until later.

_MG_7990 _MG_7996

Now the banana caramel. Measure out 7 tbsps of the coconut sugar into a saucepan and add the same amount of water. Put on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.


Add the coconut milk to the dissolved sugar and mix in. Simmer for 10 mins until the mixture has thickened.

_MG_8008 _MG_8025

Add the chopped bananas and coat the bananas in the caramel. Cook for a couple of minutes, take off the heat and add the vanilla essence. Mix and carefully pour the bananas into your ovenproof baking dish.

_MG_8030 _MG_8046

Cover the bananas with the crumble topping.. 

_MG_8065 _MG_8072

Put in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the top is golden and crisp.. Serve hot with ice cold cream.. Feel good at first bite..



Coconut Shrikhand: Whipped Coconut Yoghurt with Coconut Sugar and Crushed Cardamom

Shrikhand.. A rich Indian dessert made from whipping thick strained yoghurt with white sugar, crushed cardamom seeds and saffron.. The kind of dessert which you have on special occasions.. or if you’re like me, any day is enough of an occasion..

This shrikhand is a little different in that I used coconut milk yoghurt.. thick and creamy enough without having to laboriously strain in through a cheesecloth like you do with cows milk yoghurt (yesss), and fine coconut sugar to sweeten it all up.. just because I’m cocoloco 🙂 The coconuttiness of both the yoghurt and the sugar is subtle against the perfume of the saffron and cardamom.. A simple, sweet, special kind of shrikhand..


Coconut Shrikhand 

Whipped Coconut Yoghurt with Coconut Sugar and Crushed Cardamom

Serves 4


500g coconut milk yoghurt

5 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tbsp coconut milk

1/4 tsp crushed cardamom seeds

A pinch of saffron plus a few more strands to decorate the top

Sliced pistachios for decoration




Empty the coconut yoghurt in large bowl, add the coconut sugar and beat into the yoghurt until smooth.

_MG_7208 _MG_7213

Add the crushed cardamom and mix thoroughly.

_MG_7219 _MG_7215


Warm the coconut milk in a small pan and add the saffron. Take off the heat and leave to infuse for a few minutes.

_MG_7224 _MG_7226

Add the saffron milk to the yoghurt and mix thoroughly.


Spoon the mixture into your serving bowl and scatter over the sliced pistachios and a few more saffron strands.

_MG_7238 _MG_7295


Chill for a couple of hours for the spices to infuse into the yoghurt.. Feel good at first spoonful…


Bombay Gin Trifle: A Gin, Orange Liqueur & Cardamom Sponge, Crushed Pistachios, Saffron Custard & Orange Cream

A great British trifle is a great thing.. boozy sweet sponges, sharp fruitiness, a rich vanilla custard, topped with pillowy whipped cream.. The kind of dessert that always reminds me of special occasions, like birthdays and Christmas, when there are never too many sweet things around.. This boozy trifle is definitely a grown up thing, with gin and orange liqueur spiked trifle sponge, layered with fresh orange segments, crushed cardamom and pistachios, a rich saffron custard and an orange cream.. The Bombay dry gin is actually quite subtle, adding a floral note which goes so well with the citrus and spices, cutting through the rich custard and cream.. 

This a great recipe for a boozy post Christmas dinner treat.. but why wait til then? Enjoy x 


Bombay Gin Trifle

A gin, orange liqueur and cardamom soaked sponge,

crushed pistachios, saffron custard and an orange cream..

Serves 6 – 8


For the boozy sponge base – 

8 trifle sponges

4 tbsp marmalade

1 tbsp crushed pistachios

50ml Bombay Dry gin

1 tbsp Cointreau

1 tbsp lemon juice 

1 1/2tsp orange marmalade

1/4 tsp crushed cardamom seeds 

2 large oranges

For the saffron custard – 

275ml double cream

1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

3 large egg yolks

1 tsp cornflour

25g golden castor sugar

A pinch of saffron

For the orange cream – 

275ml double cream

1 tbsp golden castor sugar

1/2 tsp orange extract 

1 tbsp of crushed pistachios



First the boozy sponge base. Cut the trifle sponges across, thickly spread with the marmalade on the inside and sandwich the sponges back together. Cut the sponges in half and squidge them into the trifle bowl to form a thick layer. 

_MG_4205 _MG_4207

Cut the skin off the oranges and cut into segments to scatter over the sponges along with 1 tablespoon of the crushed pistachios. Mix the gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of marmalade and the crushed cardamom in a small bowl and pour over the sponges. Leave the sponges to soak in the cocktail. 

_MG_4218 _MG_4229

Now saffron custard.  Pour the cream into a saucepan, add the vanilla extract and saffron and put on a gentle heat.  Meanwhile, whisk the eggs yolks with the sugar and cornflour in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Gently pour the hot cream onto the eggs, whisking the whole time to avoid the yolks from scrambling. Once mixed, pour back into the saucepan, put on the heat and stir until the custard starts to thicken.

_MG_4270 _MG_4276

Once the custard has thickened, take off the heat and leave to cool. When the custard is cool, spoon onto the boozy sponges and put into the fridge for the custard to set. 

_MG_4284 _MG_4296

Now the orange cream. Simply whisk the remaining cream in a large bowl with a tablespoon of the golden castor sugar and the orange extract until you form soft peaks.


Once the custard has set, spoon on the pillowy cream and scatter over the crushed pistachios..


Cover and leave in the fridge until you’re ready.. Feel great at first boozy bite..



Peaches with a Pistachio, Coconut & Cardamom Crumble

Comfort crumble.. a gorgeous low effort kind of dessert and so comforting to eat.. hot juicy tender fruit, a sweet crumbly crunch on top and lashings of cold double cream.. perfect for these rainy summer days we’re having at the moment. My favourite comfort crumble right now is using just-ripe peaches which are in season at the moment, macerated with lemon juice and sugar, and generously topped with a buttery crumble, with crushed pistachios, desiccated coconut and crushed cardamom folded in.. The kind of crumble you need a lot of cream for 🙂 



Peach Crumble with Pistachio,

Coconut and Cardamom 

Serves 4 


For the peachy base – 

6 large fresh peaches, peeled and sliced

75g castor sugar 

A squeeze of lemon


For the crumbly top – 

100g plain flour 

50g castor sugar

80g cold unsalted butter

30g desiccated coconut

30g pistachios, finely chopped

1/4 tsp crushed cardamom seeds



Pre-heat your oven to 180c. Rub the cold butter into the flour until you get those fine breadcrumbs.



Add the castor sugar, desiccated coconut, chopped pistachios and the crushed cardamom and mix.



Cut the peaches into slices and pile into your baking dish. Sprinkle the castor sugar evenly on top and squeeze over a little lemon juice too.



Cover the peaches with the crumble top, making sure the mixture is evenly spread.


Put in the oven and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until the crumble top is brown and crisp.. Serve hot, with lashings of double cream.. Feel good at first crumbly bite…






Champagne Jelly, Strawberries and a Lime, Mint and Cardamom Cream

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love bubbles.. and there is something about having champagne in the summer months, a chilled glass of bubbly in the sunshine is just one of my favourite things.. along with strawberries and cream of course.. This recipe is summer in a glass, for me.. a champagne jelly with cut strawberries through it, and a lime, mint and cardamon cream to go with the jelly.. classic flavours with a bit of spice..


Champagne Jelly and Strawberries

with a

Lime, Mint and Cardamom Cream



Serves 6 


For the Champagne Jelly – Adapted from a recipe on the BBC Food website (Please see the original recipe here:

300ml Hot water 

55g Castor sugar

500ml Champagne, chilled

4 leaves of gelatine 

150g Strawberries, quartered


For the Cream – 

150ml Double Cream 

A couple of pinches of crushed cardamom

1/8 tsp Peppermint extract 

4 tsp Castor Sugar

Generous spritz of lime juice 



First the Jelly. You can make the jellies the night before you need them and then just make the cream before serving.. Soak the leaves of gelatine in a bowl of cold water and set aside for about five minutes, or until the leaves are soft. Put the hot water and sugar into a small saucepan over a low to medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmer for five minutes, then remove the pan.


Take out the gelatine leaves, squeeze off as much liquid as possible, and add them to the sugar syrup. Whisk until the gelatine has completely dissolved and pour the syrup back into a bowl and chill in the fridge for about an hour until nearly set. 


Uncork the champagne, measure out 500 ml and pour it into the jelly, stirring once or twice to blend everything together. 

_MG_1200_lznCarefully ladle the jelly gently into the serving glasses, trying to save as many bubbles as you can when the jelly is set. Cover with clingfilm and chill the glasses in the fridge for an hour. After an hour, stir in the strawberries in each of the glasses.


Cover the glasses with clingfilm, and place them in the fridge for the jellies to set.

Now for the cream. Whisk in a large bowl with the sugar until you get soft peaks.


Add the crushed cardamom seeds, mint extract and spritz in some lime juice to taste.



Serves the jellies with the cream in a little bowl on the side for people to help themselves.. Feel good at first pop..





Spiced Pancakes with Fresh Coconut, Palm Sugar & Crushed Cashews..

Dessert for breakfast.. Like sweet pancakes spiced with ground cardamon, with a filling of freshly grated coconut, palm sugar and crushed nuts..  I know, right? I found this recipe in an old Madhur Jaffrey book called ‘Flavours of India’, and like any recipe I see with fresh coconut in it, I pretty much wanted to try it out at that moment, which is what I did… I’ve slightly changed the recipe but it definitely stays true to Madhur’s original.. I love the combination of intense caramelly palm sugar with the fresh coconut and crushed cashews, with a spritz of lemony sharpness to cut through all the sweetness.. Starting my day right.. 



Spiced Pancakes 

with Fresh Coconut, Palm Sugar and Crushed Nuts

Adapted from the original recipe

Serves 2


For the Pancakes

60g plain white flour

A pinch of salt 

A pinch of freshly ground cardamon seeds

1 small egg plus one egg yolk

150ml milk

1/2 tbsp of melted butter 


For the Filling  

90g freshly grated coconut 

60g roasted, unsalted cashews, crushed

4 tbsps palm sugar 

A pinch of freshly ground cardamon

Coconut or vegetable oil for frying

1 juicy lemon

A warm oven to keep the pancakes warm while you’re cooking



Mix the flour, eggs, butter and milk together in a bowl and whisk until smooth.


In another bowl, mix the freshly grated coconut with the roasted crushed roasted cashews and palm sugar, and heat the mixture gently on the stove to let the palm sugar melt. Once the palm sugar has dissolved, take the mixture off the heat.



Put a little oil in a non-stick frying pan, and when hot pour in a thin layer of the pancake batter.


Fry the pancake for a few minute until ready to flip and cook for another minute.


Once ready, put the pancake on a plate and start making the next one. Whilst the second pancake is cooking, fill half of the cooked pancake with the coconut filling and spritz over a little lemon juice. Fold the pancake in half and then half again. Do the same with the second pancake once done and put in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the pancake mix. Feel good at first flip.