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The pretty pinkness of the Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay Pinot Noir inspired celebrated food blogger, Lizet Hartley of Melkkos & Merlot to develop a recipe for a delicious dessert combining the sweet and sour quality of poached plums with the sophisticated spice of cardamom and the buttery crumbs of a pistachio and orange shortbread.

Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay Pinot Noir, cardamom and plum fool


  • 500 ml (2 cups) Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay Pinot Noir
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 8 green cardamom pods, crushed with the blunt side of a knife, to open them slightly
  • 4 x 2 cm-wide strips of orange zest
  • 10 – 12 large (800 g) good quality dark purple plums
  • ¼ teaspoon rose-water
  • 300 g double cream yoghurt
  • 250 ml fresh cream
  • 4 tablespoons castor-sugar


Place the wine, cardamom, orange zest and half a cup of sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Wash and halve the plums and place them, skin side down, in the wine-poaching liquid. Cook until the plums are soft. Remove the plums and place them in a food processor. Pulse until you have a puree. (You can either use it as is and have some nice textured bits; alternately, push it through a sieve so you end up with a very smooth puree.)

Continue boiling the wine-poaching liquid until it is reduced to just half a cup (125 ml) then remove the orange peel and cardamom. Add this liquid and the rose-water to the plum puree and allow to cool. (You can’t add warm plum puree to the dairy, so if you do not have time to put it in the fridge, go the quick cheat’s route by placing the bowl of puree in another bowl filled with ice and a bit of water. Stir the plum puree for a few minutes and it will chill down fast.)

Whip the cream with the castor-sugar and fold into the yoghurt. Ladle the dairy and the puree 50/50 in small glasses and place in the fridge until served. Serve with the orange and pistachio shortbread.

This dessert is rich, so dainty 80-ml portions (or even smaller) are more than sufficient. This recipe will deliver 80-ml servings for 11 people.


Pistachio and orange shortbread


  • 175 g cold salted butter, cut into small blocks
  • 85 g castor-sugar
  • 200 g cake-flour
  • zest of two oranges
  • 80 g chopped pistachios
  • extra castor-sugar for sprinkling



Place the flour, butter and castor sugar in a food processor. Pulse to break up the butter and then run until the dough just comes together. Add the zest and nuts and pulse once or twice, just until incorporated with the rest of the dough. (Do not overwork the dough; only a light touch is required.)Tumble the dough out onto a large strip of cling-film, press together lightly to form a ball, then flatten with your palms into a 4-cm thick circle. Cover with another piece of cling-film to seal properly and place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes. (The dough can be made a day or two before needed and placed in the fridge until needed. It can also be frozen.)

Remove dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to 1,5 cm thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes of your choice and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degrees Celsius until cooked through (35 – 40 minutes). Dust with castor-sugar when it comes out of the oven and allow the biscuits to cool and to crisp up. Seal in an airtight container until needed.

Alternative: To make long shortbread fingers instead of smaller shortbread cookies, pat the dough into a rectangle before it goes into the fridge to rest. Then roll the dough out (2 cm thick) on baking paper, cut to fit the baking tray. Simply lift the baking paper with the dough and place it on the baking tray. Use the side of a palette knife to score thin lines 1,5 – 2 cm apart on the dough. Bake as above. Once cooked through, remove and use a sharp knife to slice the shortbread fingers along the guidelines you scored. Dust with castor-sugar and allow to cool and crisp up.

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