So it seems as if Spring has finally sprung – Sunday was warm enough for a picnic in Green Park, where everyone seemed to have been caught out by the warm weather (I in particular was regretting my fur-trimmed overcoat). The trees on our road are blossoming, something I forgot would happen what with this ENDLESS WINTER, and it seems that the parsley seedlings I thought I’d killed are staging a recovery. This calls for a cake, and as Stylist is endlessly telling me that pale green is this season’s colour, what better way to go than pistachio? Pistachios are definitely the best of the nuts – they’re fun to peel, they’re impossibly purple and green which makes them far superior to any beige rivals, taste scrummy, and they turn cake batter green, making it HEALTHY.
This is Jonathan from the candid appetite’s recipe, anglicised. I did find it quite sweet (a staggering amount of sugar goes into it) so you might want to dial it down to 250g or so? Untested though, so don’t blame me if it all goes wrong.
Makes one loaf tin, I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to specify serving numbers.
170g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
85g cream cheese
300g sugar (or less!!)
1tsp vanilla extract
60g icing sugar
170ml double cream
A good squeeze of lemon juice
More chopped pistachios to decorate
1. Grind 60g of the pistachios in a blender until fine. If you suspect your blender might not be up to the job, get them started with a rolling pin and plastic bag. Beat the ground pistachios into the butter and cream cheese for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Add the sugar bit by bit and keep beating. When smooth, add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.
2. Fold in the flour, cornflour and baking powder. Chop your remaining pistachios and fold them in as well. Spoon the batter into a lined loaf pan, even out the top and bake at 180C for about an hour and a half until a skewer comes out clean. Whack some foil on top if it looks like it’s getting too dark.
3. Leave the cake to cool, then whisk the sugar, cream and lemon juice together. Don’t ice the cake until it’s completely cool or else you’ll end up with a sloppy mess. I did. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and eat with a lovely cup of tea.