It's a very nutty Mother's Day this year.
Wonder what that is? It's cake batter. Pistachio cake batter to be specific. Wanted to bake something for mum on this special day and chanced upon this recipe online a few weeks back via The Food Section. It's actually a recipe from the London River Cafe. The recipe can be found in their cookbook, Italian Easy: Recipes from the London River Cafe.
Nope, I've never visited the London River Cafe. I do know that there's a River Cafe here in Singapore but not really sure if it's affiliated. Maybe it is...
Anyway this recipe is really easy but expensive. That's because shelled pistachio nuts cost more. I bought 250g for about $9. My ingredients came about $20 in total... But that's because I bought extra unsalted butter (for my chocolate chip cookies to be baked soon) and flour.
Try out this recipe if you like nuts as much as I do. Hmmm but you won't really taste any nuts while eating it, besides the topping of course.
here's the finished product plus topping
a closeup shot - can you see the lovely shiny glaze on the pistachio?
Tada! Sorry for the sudden influx of pistachio cake photos. I just had to put them up. Especially those cut slices. I wanted to capture and show you guys the lovely hue of the pistachios and the colour of the cake.
The topping really completes the cake, not just in terms of aesthetics. It gives the cake that extra zing. The taste I mean. The lemon glaze gives a tangy tart feel to the cake while you bite into it. Very refreshing. I'm going to eat it with yoghurt later. It looks as if it would go well with yoghurt.
Just to let you know, mum did like the cake and so did both my younger bro and sis. They liked it so much and now there's only about half left. Well I do have a hungry family i guess. Or maybe just one with a huge appetite. Like me.
Yes yes, i'm sure most of you are eager for the recipe. So here goes:
by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers
from Italian Easy: Recipes from the London River Cafe
2 1/4 sticks Unsalted butter
1 Vanilla bean
2/3 cup Blanched almonds
3/4 cup Pistachios
1 1/4 cups Superfine sugar
4 Eggs, organic
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Pistachios
1/4 cup Superfine sugar
Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
Grease a 12 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4-inch loaf pan with 4 tsp of the butter and line with baking parchment.
Soften the remaining butter. Finely grate the lemon peel. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Finely grind the almonds and pistachios together.
Beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the lemon peel and vanilla seeds, then fold in the nuts and sift in the flour.
Spoon the batter into the pan and bake for 45-60 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan, then turn out.
For the topping, grate the lemon peel and squeeze the juice. Halve the pistachios. Mix the lemon juice with the sugar, boil until reduced to a syrup, then add the peel. Stir in the pistachios and pour over the cake.
Recipe reprinted with permission. Copyright 2004 Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers.
Do take note:
* 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter is = 1 block unsalted butter or approx 250g
* Since vanilla beans aren't a common sight in Singapore, I used vanilla essence. it'll work fine
* Didn't know where in the world I could get organic eggs so I used normal ones.
* For those in Singapore and have difficulty getting shelled pistachios, go to Phoon Huat.
* I couldn't find a pan of the required size so I just used one that i had at home. Just make sure that when you pour your batter, it doesn't touch the brim. As long as it's half or 3/4 full, it's fine.
I'm really glad I got to try out this recipe! Been wanting to bake this cake but kept delaying it because I couldn't find shelled pistachios... I'm glad it turned out fine though. Definitely one of my favourites. Reminds me of the hazelnut torte my aunt made last time. Lovely. My aunt is an excellent baker. In fact, when i was younger, I used to help her out in the kitchen when she was baking bread/cakes etc. You can say I have some good 'baker' genes. Pardon my corny reference. It's late.
Ms. Baker will get some shut-eye now... zZzZzZz........