Thursday, 5 April 2012

Pistachio Cake

I made this cake the other day. It's a pistachio and almond cake with an orangey zing. The recipe is mostly from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries, minus a few things I didn't like the sound of (or couldn't afford. This is a pricey cake to make!) It's got an incredible flavour, it's heavy and moist and will last a good few days without a decline in quality - in fact I think it improves with age.

Butter - 250g
caster sugar - 250g
eggs x3
pistachio nuts - 120g
ground almonds - 100g
an orange
plain flour - 60g

Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a 22cm cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Grind 100g of the pistachios into a fine powder (use a food processor), and then add them to the mix along with the ground almonds. Grate and squeeze the orange, stirring it in (Nigel Slater puts rosewater in at this point too. I couldn't afford rosewater, so left it out). Fold in the flour with a metal spoon (or in my case, whiz old Ken Wood on a low setting).
Scoop the mixture into the tin, and bake for just shy of an hour, covering the top with foil about 10 mins before the end of cooking. It's done when a skewer comes out pretty much clean. Leave it in the tin to cool.

Nigel Slater makes a lemon icing to put on top. Mr Kite dislikes lemon in puddings, and I don't really like icing. The cake is so moist it doesn't need it. Instead I crushed up the remaining 20g of pistachio nuts and sprinkled them on the top. I put some primrose flowers on top for an elegant flourish. Depending on the season you could use whatever edible flower is in season at the time.

I recommend checking out the original recipe, especially if you want the rosewater touch and the icing. Nigel Slater includes a recipe for an amazing sounding sorbet that goes nicely with the cake.


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