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Food and Recipes

Food matters: Pistachio Roulade by Melanie Gulliver

(adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe in the Sweet cookbook)

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Note- the coconut milk needs to go in the fridge the night before you bake.

This is a wonderful cake to make for an afternoon tea or for a special treat. Not too difficult to make either.

The original cake uses a standard Genoese base, giving a light fluffy sponge, but I have adapted it to speed things up and I was pleasantly surprised by the result. So instead of separating the eggs into yolks and whites before whipping them, we will use our whole eggs and whip them together.

The cake should be springy to the touch and not overcooked as it will become too hard to roll. Remove from the oven when you see a light brown colour on the top.

You will need a rectangular shallow silicone cake sheet or baking tray lined with baking paper.


For the cake:

70g shelled pistachio kernels plus an extra 15g roughly chopped

4 large eggs

140g sugar

140g flour (replace with 70g brown rice flour and 70g cornflour if wanting a gluten free cake)

A pinch of salt

¼ tsp vanilla or almond essence

20g icing sugar

300g of fresh or frozen raspberries or cherries

For the Coconut Cream:

2 cans coconut milk

30g icing sugar

A pinch of vanilla powder or essence


The night before put your two cans of coconut milk in the fridge and leave overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/ gas mark 6.

Grease a shallow 35 x 30 cm shallow baking tray and line with baking paper or use a non-stick silicone tray.

Grind pistachios in a small blender until they are fine- don’t worry if there are some larger pieces left. Set aside.

Whisk (use an electric one!) the eggs and the sugar together, for a few minutes, until thick and creamy. Sprinkle in the ground pistachios, salt and vanilla and gently stir them in.

Sift the flour into a bowl and then sift it again into the cake mixture. Combine gently.

Scrape the batter into the tray and smooth it out flat and bake for 12-15 minutes- do not open the oven door for the first 10 minutes. The cake should spring back when touched and be lightly browned when removed from the oven.

Remove the cake from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes.

Sift half the icing sugar over the surface of the cake and cover it with a clean tea towel. Place a wire rack or another baking tray on top and then flip the cake over, so that the wire rack is now underneath the tea towel and cake. Lift off the tray, carefully peel away the paper and lightly dust the top of the cake with the remaining icing sugar.

With one of the short sides facing towards you roll up the still warm cake with the tea towel inside- to ‘train’ the cake to roll later. Leave tightly wrapped up for 10 minutes. Then unroll the cake and set aside to come to room temperature. Don’t worry if the cake curls a bit at the ends or there are small cracks.

While waiting for the cake to cool, if using frozen fruit, let the fruit defrost and sit in a sieve or colander to let excess liquid drip out. De-stone fresh cherries if using them.

For the Coconut Cream

Remove cans from the fridge, open and scoop out the hard cream that will be at the top of the can. (Keep the liquid to make smoothies). Place in a bowl with the icing sugar and vanilla and whip together until blended. If you want a thicker cream add more sugar, or you can put the cream back in the fridge for another hour.

To Assemble

When ready to assemble, spread the coconut cream on the cake, leaving about 2cm clear at the far end of the cake. Place the cherries or raspberries all over the cake evenly, and then roll the cake carefully, this time without the tea towel inside.

Transfer the cake to a serving platter and sift some icing sugar over the top and sprinkle with the remaining chopped pistachios.

N.B. The cake is best eaten on the day it is made.


Melanie Gulliver is the Clever Chef and a Director of The Clever Kitchen, a local company delivering organic nutritious wholefood meals to Monaco and along the Cote d'Azur, and holding regular nutrition workshops in Monaco and Nice.  Melanie takes orders for custom cakes and events as well.

Contact details:, +33 (0)6 15 21 63 53
Instagram: and @thecleverkitchen

The next TCK workshop in Monaco is on June 5th at StarsnBars on Food Fads and Myths. See the Facebook page.

Thursday, 24 May 2018    Section: Food and Recipes
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