Passionfruit pistachio delice with caramelised kumquats

By pastry chef, Claire Clark MBE

Serves 12


For the pistachio cake:

  • 80g shelled, peeled pistachio nuts
  • 80g softened unsalted butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 large and 1 small egg
  • 10g plain flour
  • 10g cornflour

Passionfruit mousse:

  • 100ml passionfruit purée
  • 600ml whipping cream
  • 4 leaves gelatine
  • 300g white chocolate
  • 60g liquid glucose

Caramelised kumquats:

  • 250g kumquats
  • 250g caster sugar
  • Water

Lime marshmallows:

  • 350g caster sugar
  • 150ml liquid glucose
  • 7½ gelatine leaves
  • 250ml water
  • 2 medium egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 50ml lime juice
  • 5g lime zest
  • A little green colour (optional)
  • 200g icing sugar

Lime meringues:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons cornflour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • Zest of one lime

Kalamansi curd:

  • 180g unsalted butter, melted
  • 150g caster sugar
  • Juice of 4 kalamansi
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 gelatine leaf
  • 100g cocoa butter

To finish:

  • Gold leaf
  • Blood orange segments
  • Micro fennel
  • Micro mint
Preparation method: 

Pistachio cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C. You will need a 20 x 15cm square cake tin with a removable base. Line the base with baking parchment.
  • Chop the pistachio nuts very finely.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Lightly beat the large egg and add it to the creamed mixture a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Sift the flour and cornflour together and mix them with the pistachio nuts. Fold these into the cake batter a tablespoon at a time, taking care not to over-fold and tighten the mix.
  • Beat the small egg and add to the mix, folding it in gently with a large metal spoon.
  • Transfer the mixture to the lined cake tin and level the top with a spatula or palette knife; the mixture should be about 5mm thick.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cake springs back when gently pressed or a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.  

Passionfruit mousse:

  • Whip the cream to soft peaks and place in the fridge. Soak the gelatin leaves in a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes until very soft. Remove from the water and squeeze out excess liquid. Put the chopped chocolate into a large bowl. Place the liquid glucose in a small pan and bring gently just to the boil.
  • Remove from the heat, add the soaked gelatin and stir well to dissolve. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve directly on to the chopped chocolate. Leave for 30 seconds then whisk gently to combine all the ingredients. The chocolate should be completely melted.
  • Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in a third of the semi-whipped cream. Make sure the cream is fully incorporated but do not over-mix. The cream will melt a little in the hot chocolate. Fold in another third of the cream; this time the mix will feel a little firmer. Take extreme care when folding in the final third of the cream; be as gentle as possible and do not over-mix. The mixture should have the consistency of a soft mousse.
  • Spoon the mousse onto the pistachio cake and level it with a spatula or palette knife. Place the tin in the fridge for about an hour until set and firm to the touch. When set or semi-frozen, remove from the tin and cut into bars 9cm x 2cm.

Caramelised kumquats:

  • Wash and slice the kumquats thinly. Mix the sugar with approx. 100ml water to dissolve, wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush and clean water. Bring to the boil over a high heat. Cook to a golden caramel.
  • Remove from the heat, carefully add slowly add 75ml water, bring back to the boil to combine.
  • Pour over the kumquats, return to the pan and simmer over a low heat for 5-10 minutes until tender but not broken. Allow to cool in the caramel. Add more water if necessary

Lime marshmallows:

  • Grease a 30 x 20cm baking tray and line the base and sides with baking parchment. Grease the parchment. Put the sugar and glucose large heavy-based pan and stir well. Place over a low heat and stir continuously until they both melt. Wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water so they are free of any sugar or glucose. Turn the heat up high and bring to the boil. Put a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil, without stirring, until the mixture reaches soft-ball stage (118°C).
  • As soon as the sugar is boiling, prepare the other ingredients. Soak the gelatine in a large bowl of cold water for about five minutes until completely softened. Remove and squeeze out excess water. Put the gelatine into a saucepan with the 250ml water and place over a low heat. Stir constantly until the gelatine has melted.
  • Transfer the mixture to a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the egg whites and start the machine on a medium-high speed. Whisk until the egg whites form soft peaks.
  • When the sugar has reached the correct temperature, turn down the machine to a low speed and pour the hot sugar into the whites near the edge of the bowl – don’t pour directly onto the whisk or it will splash.
  • Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then increase to high and beat for about 10 minutes until the mixture is full and glossy. Lower the speed and add the vanilla, salt, lime juice, zest and colouring, if using. Beat for a further minute, then spoon the mixture into the prepared tray to a depth of 1cm.
  • Leave to set, uncovered, overnight at room temperature then cut into 5mm cubes, using a knife dipped in warm water.
  • Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and toss the cut marshmallows in it to coat. Leave on a tray for a few hours so the outside of the marshmallow forms a skin.

Lime meringues:

  • Preheat the oven to 120°C.
  • Place the egg whites in a bowl with a third of the sugar and whisk to firm peaks with an electric mixer. Add another third of the sugar, whisk for 1-2 minutes on medium speed, then add the rest of the sugar. Whisk just long enough to incorporate it.
  • Using a large metal spoon, fold in the sifted cornflour and the white wine vinegar.
  • Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Pipe into pips using a 1/4 inch plain piping tip and finish with a sprinkling of the lime zest before baking.

Kalamansi curd:

  • Put the melted butter, sugar, kalamansi juice and eggs into a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Whisk continuously until the mixture thickens – it should leave a trail on the surface when drizzled from the whisk. Soak the gelatin leaf in a large bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes, until completely soft.
  • Remove from the bowl, squeeze out excess water, then dissolve the gelatine in 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Add it to the hot curd and mix well. Pass the curd through a fine sieve and then blitz in a liquidizer or food processor for 1-2 minutes, until it lightens slightly in colour and becomes aerated.
  • Set in a plastic container overnight.
  • Next day, take the curd and blitz in a processor until smooth but still firm enough to pipe.
  • Pipe into sticks approx 9 inches in length using a 1 inch plain piping tip onto a silpat mat. Freeze the curd.
  • Once frozen cut into 1.5 inch lengths and dip in melted cocoa butter and sit back onto a clean silpat mat and allow to defrost in the fridge.


  • Let 150g of the remaining kalamansi curd down with a little passion fruit juice to a sauce-like consistency is achieved and swipe on to the plate.
  • Place the delice on to the plate and finish with the stick of kalamansi curd, the meringues, marshmallows, kumquats, blood orange segments as shown.
  • Decorate with touches of gold leaf and the micro mint and fennel.

Copyright 2019 Craft Guild of Chefs

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