Creamy pistachio burfee

Creamy pistachio burfee

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  • Makes 20
  • Easy
  • 5 minutes, plus 1 hour’s setting time
  • 20 minutes

“This burfee recipe is very close to my heart! Growing up, burfee was my favourite sweet meat, so I made it my mission to create the perfect burfee recipe. To me, the perfect burfee is creamy, soft and chewy, which is exactly what this recipe turned out to be over the past few years of trial and error! I especially love using real pistachio paste as opposed to essence, I find it gives the burfee an extremely luxurious taste and texture!” – Tahila Pillay


  • 500 g Klim milk powder
  • 1½ t cardamom (elachi) powder
  • 125 g butter, melted
  • 1 x 290 g can Nestlé dessert cream
  • 390 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 80 g pistachio paste
  • gold leaf, to decorate (optional)

Cooking Instructions

1. Place the milk powder, cardamom and butter into a mixing bowl. You can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a wooden spoon. Mix until the butter is fully incorporated and the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. In a large non-stick pan, mix the cream and icing sugar one cup at a time to make it easier to incorporate. Mix in the pistachio paste.

3. Heat the mixture over a medium heat until it starts to bubble. Allow to bubble for about one minute.

4. Add half milk mixture to the pan and mix vigorously. Once combined, add the remaining milk mixture and mix vigorously again. (It’s a little bit of an arm workout!)

5. Continue mixing until completely smooth and the mixture pulls away from the side of the pan, this should take about 5 minutes.

6. Place the burfee into a 20 x 20cm square cake tin lined with baking paper. (Tip: Greasing the tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray will help the paper stick well with no creases).
Press the burfee flat with a rubber spatula for best results.

7. Gently stick on the gold leaf if using; it will stick well before the burfee is set.

8. Allow the burfee to set in a cool place for at least an hour before removing from the tin and cutting into squares.

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Photographs: Jan Ras
Production: Khanya Mzongwana
Food assistant: Tahila Pillay

Tahila Pillay Recipe by: Tahila Pillay
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Tahila Pillay (@Tahila.daisy) is a professionally trained chef and content creator. She’s best-known for her body and skin positivity content, but is also passionate about recipes that reflect her heritage.

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