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Pierre Roelofs' Chickpea Cake with Mandarin and Cashew Cream


Dessert chef Pierre Roelofs is back this week with another of his impressive desserts, reimagined for the home cook. This cake uses an unlikely ingredient to form its base – chickpeas! His nutty chickpea cake is complemented with juicy mandarin and homemade cashew cream. A surprisingly perfect flavour combo!

This November, Pierre is hosting his popular ‘Dessert Evenings’, featuring his famous dessert degustation, in collaboration with local creative and weaver Maryanne Moodie! Bookings can be made here.

8th November, 2016
Pierre Roelofs
Tuesday 8th November 2016

My Dessert Evenings have called three places home. After the first five years at Fitzroy’s Café Rosamond we moved south side to Fancy Nance, and this year Milkwood in East Brunswick has been our host.

This year, I’ve been weaving a new project through the menu; the Dessert Studies. This collaborative project has created wonderful conversations with Melbourne based creative folk – Michelle MacKintosh, Andrew Maynard, Beci Orpin, and Julia deVille to name a few. Each new dessert has been inspired by one of these local artists, and conceived in collaboration with them.

This chickpea cake came out of my Dessert Studies collaboration with Lightly’s Cindy-Lee Davis. The chickpea puree adds a subtle nutty flavour and gives the cake additional body and texture. I have always loved using cashews in my desserts, and the cashew cream has been a feature for many years. The toasted cashews add a textural element, and the mandarin segments are a quick and easy garnish that brings freshness and colour to the dessert. You could use orange segments if you prefer.

Pierre Roelof’s next Dessert Studies will be a collaboration with local creative and weaver Maryanne Moodie at Milkwood in East Brunswick on November 10th, 17th and 24th.


For the chickpea cake

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g egg, at room temperature
  • 200g flour
  • 12g baking powder
  • 3g salt
  • 2 tins of chickpeas

For the cashew puree

  • 200g raw cashews
  • 20g icing sugar
  • 150g hot water

Fo the roasted cashews

  • 200g raw cashews
  • 30g icing sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • A drop of canola oil

For the mandarin segments

  • 2 tins of mandarin segments, drained


For the chickpea cake

Line a 25cm x 30cm tin with baking paper and preheat a fan-forced oven to 150C.

Drain the chickpeas, retaining the liquid. Blend in a food processor, adding enough liquid back to the chickpeas to form a thick puree. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve.

Whisk the butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy.

Slowly drizzle in the eggs and continue to whisk intensely.

Fold in the flour and baking powder. Fold through the chickpea puree. Bake for approximately 40 minutes.

Leave to cool at room temperature before serving.

For the cashew puree

Boil the cashews in a pot of water for 25 minutes to soften.

Drain and rinse under hot water.

Place in a food processor (or Thermomix) along with the icing sugar.

Start to blend the cashews whilst slowly adding the hot water, adding enough water until a thick puree is achieved. Add more water if necessary.

Blend until smooth, this will take around 5 minutes.

Pass though a sieve and leave to cool.

Note: There is no need to pass through a sieve if using a Thermomix, as it will create a perfectly smooth puree.

For the roasted cashews

Preheat oven to 130C. Mix the cashews with the oil, icing sugar and salt, spread onto a tray and roast in the oven until golden brown (approximately 15 minutes).

Note: You can also use store bought roasted, salted cashews if you’d prefer.

To assemble

Cut the chickpea cake into pieces. Garnish each piece with a dollop of cashew puree, mandarin segments and the roasted cashews.

Pierre Roelofs’ Chickpea cake with mandarin and cashew cream. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email