Turkish delight syllabub

Create a fragrant finish with this light and airy dessert - you're sure to be delighted!
By Nigella Lawson
Turkish delight syllabub
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 12 tbsp Cointreau, (approx 175ml)
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 8 tbsp caster sugar, (approx 125g)
  • 600 ml double cream, scant
  • 2 tbsp rose water
  • 2 tbsp orange flower water
  • 2 tbsp pistachio nuts, finely chopped

Tips and Suggestions

This hasn't got the temple-aching sweetness of Turkish Delight, nor its palate-cleaving glutinousness, but rather it is a cloud-light spoon-pudding version which attempts to catch its aromatic essence. That it requires no cooking, merely some pouring and whisking doesn't hurt either.

I use Cointreau here, simply because I have an enormous bottle of it and I prefer not to have to whip out to the shops every time I want to make something, but if you've got any other drink which you feel would make a suitable base, then feel free to use it in its stead.

The quantities above make enough syllabub to fill, billowingly, eight 150ml glasses.


1. Combine the Cointreau, lemon juice and sugar in a large bowl (I use the bowl of my KitchenAid mixer) and stir to dissolve the sugar, or as good as.

2. Slowly stir in the cream then get whisking. As I said, I use my freestanding mixer for this, but if you haven't got one, don't worry - but I would then advise a hand-held electric mixer. This takes ages to thicken and doing it by hand will drive you demented with tedium and impatience. Or it would me.

3. When the cream's fairly thick, but still not thick enough to hold its shape, dribble in the flower waters and then keep whisking until you have a creamy mixture that's light and airy but able to form soft peaks. I always think of syllabub as occupying some notional territory between solid and liquid; you're aiming, as you whisk, for what Jane Grigson called 'bulky whiteness'. Whatever: better slightly too runny than slightly too thick, so proceed carefully, but don't get anxious about it.

4. Spoon the syllabub in airy dollops into small glasses, letting the mixture billow up above the rim of the glass, and scatter finely chopped pistachios on top. In How to Eat, there's a recipe for pistachio crescents which would be fabulous dunked into and eaten with this. But only if you feel like it: the cool, fool-like smoothness of this is perfect as it is.

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