Sunday, 16 October 2011

Orange & Pistachio Cake

This cake is my own recipe, and it's really delicious. The light crumb is threaded with sweet orange zest, and it has a pretty toasted pistachio ring decoration which looks so autumnal with the rich nut purples browns and greens. A great cake to eat with a warm cup of tea after a long walk in the woods. Everything I make has a rustic look to it (ie. I'm too idle and too wedded to a love of imperfection to make things 'just so'); I've no doubt you could make this cake look prettier still if you had a go.

Serves 8 -10

200g unsalted butter, room temperature
200g golden caster sugar
200g plain flour, sieved
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground almonds
grated zest of half an orange
juice of half an orange
3 eggs

1. Turn the oven to 160C (140C fan oven). Grease and line a 20 inch round baking tin.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add 1 egg, the orange juice and zest, and beat well. Add the 2nd egg, plus the baking powder and a third of the sieved flour and combine. Finally, fold in the 3rd egg along with the rest of the flour and all the ground almonds. Mix gently until the batter is totally combined.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and put in the oven for approx 50 mins. It will be done when a skewer comes out clean and the top bounces back when you touch it with your finger. Take it out of the oven and leave in the tin for 15 minutes, before carefully turning it out onto a wire rack to cool.

For the icing:
2 tbsps freshly squeezed orange juice
100g icing sugar, to decorate
300g unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled

1. When the cake is cool, roast the unsalted pistachios in a medium heat oven for approx 4 minutes.

2. Put the icing sugar in a bowl and add the orange juice, whisking with a fork until the icing is a good thick but runny consistency.

3. Spoon the orange icing over top of the cake.

4. Place the pistachio nuts in a ring over the icing and leave to set for at least 20 minutes.

This cake was idly baked to the sounds of The Kinks' album Something Else

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