Nigel Slater's Lemon Frosted Pistachio Cake
You know my fondness for cakes that use nuts and citrus....so when I saw this on the New York Times Cooking instagram page, I knew i had to make it.
Plus, you know I love Nigel Slater, he is one of my favorite British cookbook authors.
First, some notes about the recipe:
1. Why is it called a "pistachio cake" when it uses equal parts almonds and pistachios? Shouldn't it be called a "pistachio almond cake"?
2. In my world, 8 oz. (1 cup or 2 sticks) of butter is a hell of a lot of butter unless you are making a pound cake, so I reduced the amount to 6 oz. (a stick and a half). Perfection.
3. I know many people have an aversion to rose water, a typical, very perfumey ingredient used in Middle Eastern pastries. Pure vanilla extract is a perfect substitute for the rose water.
4. FYI, no, there is no baking powder in this recipe, I didn't forget it.
5. Use an 8" springform pan if you have one.
6. This cake can not dry out. It gets better each day.
Ok, those are my notes. :)
For the cake:
6 ounces (1 stick and half) butter, slightly softened
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 cup unsalted pistachios
1 cup raw whole almonds (or almond meal)
zest & juice of an orange
1 teaspoon rose water (substitute 1 tsp vanilla)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cardamom
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
chopped pistachios for the top
dried rose petals for the top
Butter and line your 8" or 9" cake pan (I like a springform) with a parchment paper circle.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grind the nuts in a coffee grinder or mini food processor (in different batches: almonds and pistachios separately).
If you are using almond meal, then just grind the pistachios.
Beat the butter with sugar, adding in eggs one at a time, then add in the ground nuts.
Next mix in the orange zest, juice and rose water (or vanilla).
Add in the flour and cardamom last.
Pour batter into prepared cake tin and bake for 35 minutes.....you will notice the top is getting too dark from all the butter and nuts.
Cover the pan with a piece of foil and bake for another 15 minutes. (about 50 minutes total).
Let rest a few minutes before unmolding the cake onto a cooling rack.
Whisk the icing ingredients together with a fork.
Pour over the cake while still warm so the chopped pistachios (and rose petals) will stick to the glaze.
Let the cake fully cool, so the icing hardens.
This is a beautiful cake.
So good. So fragrant. So moist.
You know I loved it.
Have a slice.