20 February 2013

Pistachio, Cardamom & Orange Flower Water Ice Cream Cones

When I cook with orange flower water I dab a little on my wrists, or a put a splash behind my ear as it's so fresh, light and perfumed it is the perfect scent for warm summer afternoons. It is also the perfect flavour for summer, in sorbet or a refreshing cocktail, and pairs especially well with pistachios. I wanted a thin buttery cone that could stand alone as a wafer thin biscuit, but would also compliment everything from a good vanilla bean ice cream to a rose sorbet. I ate more of these hot from the oven than made it to 'cone' stage, I kept trying them 'to make sure they were done'. I also persevered with putting three on a tray to bake even though I knew I only had time to roll two of them into cones before they were too cool and cracked. I hate wasting food so I really HAD to eat the cracked ones rather than let them go to waste.

The size of these cones is dependent on how large you make the circle of batter before baking, I made mine about 8 cm in diameter which is a small cone so people could eat more than one with different ice creams. A standard cone would be about a 12 cm diameter. This recipe also works for fortune cookies, just pop a message inside when they are straight out of the oven then fold the circle in half gently pressing the edges together and bend it in the middle over the edge of a bowl or glass to get a sharp fold, hold until the shape is firm (they can dangle over the edge of the bowl while you do the next), then allow to cool fully on a wire rack. Fun and delicious, what more do you want from a biscuit...
Ingredients (makes approximately 12 small cones):
  • 2 egg whites
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 40 grams pistachio kernels
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 90 grams butter, melted but brought back to room temperature
  • 40 grams plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • good pinch of cardamom (to taste really, no more than 1/8 teaspoon or it's overpowering, you just want a hint)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons orange flower water

You will also need 2 baking trays lined with baking paper, and a cone shape made of cardboard then covered in baking paper (the biscuits stick to cardboard and make for very odd looking cones) 
  1. preheat oven to 170˚C
  2. combine egg whites, sugar and salt in bowl, you want a smooth paste but not full of air bubbles or the biscuits will not be flat and thin
  3. in a food processor or coffee grinder combine the pistachios with the icing sugar and process until they make a coarse nut flour
  4. combine the pistachio flour with the plain flour and add to the egg white mixture along with all other ingredients except the orange flower water
  5. once the mixture is well combined add 2 teaspoons of orange flower water and stir well, keep adding small amounts of orange flower water until you get a smooth, quite runny batter which you can spread very thinly
  6. blob a rounded teaspoon of the mix onto your prepared tray and using the back of the spoon spread it out until even, thin and approximately 8 - 10 cm in diameter
  7. you want 2 to 3 of these per tray, I can only manage 2 cones before they are too cool to roll so start with 2 and work up... or make 3 cardboard cones and you can pump them out!
  8. cook for 9 -12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown
  9. remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before rolling them around the cone shape (be careful as they will still be hot and may burn your fingers) pressing together the point of the cone to stop melted ice cream from dripping out, hold until cool enough to keep its cone shape and quickly do the next
  10. if you have a second tray lined with baking paper then have that ready with 2 biscuits to go in the oven so it is cooking while you are rolling
  11. once cool, either fill with ice cream or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days


  1. These sound so lovely. I'm definitely going to try to make my own fortune cookies.

    1. Thanks Eleanor, they are easy to make and are a really nice surprise for friends with individual comments!

  2. Me too! Can't wait to try.