Saffron–honey ice-cream with candied ginger and ginger lace wafers

Saffron–honey ice-cream with candied ginger and ginger lace wafers

1 litre
Mark Roper

Traditional Persian ice-cream is thick, smooth and strangely stretchy; sometimes tinted yellow with saffron, but nearly always flavoured with rosewater and garnished with chopped pistachios. It’s hard to recreate at home because you need sahlab, the ground root of an orchid, to create the distinctive stretchy consistency.

Instead, here is an alternative saffron ice-cream that uses a duo of molten gold – saffron liquid and honey – and chunks of sparkling candied ginger. It is rich, luscious and intensely flavoured: fit for a Shah!


Quantity Ingredient
100ml honey
350ml water
200g caster sugar
25g liquid glucose
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 lime, juiced
250g thick natural yoghurt
3 tablespoons pure cream
80ml sour cream
1/2 cup crystallised ginger
3 tablespoons Saffron liquid

Ginger lace wafers

Quantity Ingredient
250g caster sugar
125g golden syrup
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
125g plain flour
1 teaspoon see method for ingredients


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. To make the ginger lace wafers, combine the sugar, golden syrup, butter, orange juice and zest in a saucepan over a low heat until the butter has melted. Stir thoroughly, then remove from the heat.
  3. Sift the flour and ground ginger into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the golden syrup mixture and stir until well combined and smooth. Drop small teaspoons of the batter onto the prepared baking trays, leaving 5 cm between each one to allow for spreading. Bake for 8 minutes, until an even golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  4. Bring the honey to a boil in a small saucepan over a medium heat and simmer to form a dark caramel – 145ºC if you have a candy thermometer. As the caramel darkens, swirl the pan constantly and move it on and off the heat to ensure you don’t burn the honey.
  5. Remove from the heat straight away and stir in the water (be careful, the caramel will spit and splutter). Stir gently to combine, then return to the heat. Stir in the sugar, liquid glucose, saffron liquid and ground ginger. Return to a boil, stirring gently to dissolve the sugar and glucose, then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool. Refrigerate until chilled, then stir in the lime juice.
  6. Whisk the yoghurt, cream and sour cream together, then gently fold in the chilled honey– saffron syrup. Tip into an ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. At the end of the churning, finely dice the crystallised ginger, add to the ice-cream and churn briefly to distribute it evenly. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze for up to 3 days.
  8. For an attractive presentation, sandwich a scoop of ice-cream between ginger lace wafers. Alternatively, serve the ice-cream in bowls with the wafers on the side.
Middle Eastern
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