Whilst I never feel like munching on roasted pistachios as they are, I am a huge lover of pistachio-flavored things. I don't mean anything with that 'fake' flavor or anything green... it's a little bit more sophisticated than that. But not much.
I totally dig pistachio gelato (only the good stuff though) and pistachio cakes and things naturally attract my attention. I've put off making any pistachio dessert myself because they are quite expensive.
Today, it's my first day of the holidays and I thought "scrap any budget restrictions I have, I'll do what I want". After all, I had already spent $$ on saffron and mussels for one paella dish, what is so bad about getting some pistachios? They turned out to be pretty cheap anyway...
This recipe is from one of my newer cookbooks: "Cakes & Slices" from the Murdoch Books Test Kitchen. I followed the actual recipe but divided everything by 3 to make a mini loaf. I've included the ORIGINAL full-sized recipe here so if you follow it, your cake will be a lot bigger than what's in my photos.
Pistachio, Yogurt and Cardamom Cake with Lime Syrup
Makes 1 20cm diameter round cake
- 150g unsalted pistachio nuts (no shells)
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 150g unsalted butter, chopped
- 185g self-raising flour
- 310g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 125g plain yogurt (I used Jalna)
- 1 lime
For the cake...
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line your cake tin.
2. Blitz the pistachio and cardamom in a food processor until the pistachio nuts are just chopped. Add the butter and 185g of the caster sugar... pulse for 20sec until crumbly.
3. Add the eggs and yogurt and pulse until just combined.4. Spoon out the mixture into a bowl. Add the flour and mix through.
5. Scoop the cake batter into your tin and level it out.6. Bake for 40-50min until the top is browned (not blackened, mind you) and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
7. Pour the syrup (see below) on whilst the cake is still hot. After it's had time to soak up the syrup, turn it out onto a plate. Cool completely and serve.
For the syrup...
1. In a small non-stick saucepan, dissolve the remainder of the caster sugar (should be 125g) with 100ml of water on high heat.
2. Use a veggie peeler to remove the zest from the lime - make sure there's no foamy white bits with the zest (technical term = the pith).
3. When the sugar syrup comes to the boil, throw in the lime zest pieces.
4. Cook for 5min. You strain it at this stage or do what I did which is just pour the syrup over the cake and remove the zest pieces by hand. Because they're large, this isn't difficult.My lime zest syrup, ready to pour
The cake was a pretty good success. Pistachio and cardamom are lovely complimentary flavors. I attempted a rosewater frosting too but it was a total failure.
I might try the cake without the syrup next time too. Although the syrup made the cake nice and moist, I'm curious about what a more PURE pistachio cake would be like.