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Serpentine cake

Serves 8 as part of a banquet

Preparation 20 minutes

cooking time 30 minutes

Recipes Hannah Meppem and Cushla Barry
Food Styling Hannah Meppem
Wine Matches Peter Bourne
Photography William Meppem


2 cups almond meal
2 cups pistachios, chopped plus extra for topping
50g butter, plus extra for brushing
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp rose syrup, plus extra for topping
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
juice and zest of 1 orange
375g packet of filo pastry
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp dried edible rose petals

TO SERVE: mint tea, crème fraîche, extra rose petals and rose syrup.


1Preheat oven to 180°C.

2Place almond meal, pistachios, butter, icing sugar, rose syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, egg, orange juice and zest in a food processor. Process until mixture forms a thick paste. Divide into 6 long logs.

3Brush one sheet of filo pastry with butter and top with another layer of filo. Brush this layer also with butter. Place mixture along long side of pastry and roll to enclose. Repeat with remaining pastry and mixture until you have used all the mixture logs.

4Lightly grease a 26cm round tart tin and place pastry logs in a spiral pattern, trimming to fit.

5Brush top of cake with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drizzle with a little rose syrup and top with rose petals and pistachios. Serve with crème fraîche topped with rose petals and rose syrup, and post-dinner mint tea.

Wine Match

Sánchez Romate Iberia Cream, Jerez, Spain, A$50

Mint tea is the ubiquitous drink of the Middle East, its refreshing flavours counteract the lushness of the cake. However, take another (alcoholic) tangent, by popping across the Mediterranean to southern Spain and the region of Jerez, famed for its Sherries. This Iberia is lush with enough punch to meet that of the equally rich cake. Its fruit and nut flavours meld seamlessly with the nuts in the cake, leaving the cream Sherry’s dense, unctuous texture a powerful finish to mop up the rose syrup and buttery elements. Serve the mint tea afterwards to complete your feast.