Saturday, 2 June 2012
It's Saturday and I have a horrible cold. I'm afraid I'm sadly lacking in inspiration and the energy to do much of anything. I don't like to let any of you down, but for today . . . all you are getting is a repost of a cake I posted about a few years back . . .
It is a fabulous cake though, so I am quite sure you'll all forgive me. ☺
I wrote it at the end of a week when I had not much in the house too cook with and I hadn't gone grocery shopping yet. I came up with a real cracker though despite my lack of ingredients. And now . . . I'll leave you to it . . .
In the fruit bowl are some lemons and one lime that need using up along with a half a bag of pistachios, leftover from a night of indulgence in front of the telly . . .
What to do, what to do . . . sigh . . . wheels turning, turning, turning . . . I'm having a rather lazy day today and am feeling a bit indolent . . .
I think I'll bake a cake. It won't matter what we have for our tea tonight, if I have a great cake to serve for after's. A scrummy teatime cake . . . all moreishly buttery and rich. Even spaghetti on toast will taste good if there's a lovely cake waiting in the wings . . .
If there's cake, even peanut butter sandwiches are ok for tea . . . coz . . . well . . . there's cake for afters, people . . . home baked CAKE!!
Not just any cake though . . . a lovely moist and buttery cake, filled with crunchy pistachios and lemon, and topped with lucious candied lemon and lime slices and of course, some more crunchily addictive pistachio nuts. (I love, LOVE pistachio nuts!)
Baked until scrummy and then glazed while still warm with some of the syrup leftover from candying the fruit slices . . . oh, it is soooo good . . . all sticky and sweet, and yet tart and tasting somewhat of honey . . . a bit amber in colour as well.
It looks beautiful. All glistening and smelling so buttery . . . and citrusy . . . and good. Bliss, pure and utter bliss . . . food for the eyes, for the nose and for the mouth . . .
I think a nice big slice with a dollop of creme fraiche on top will go down a real treat, don't you? (I may even have two!)
*Lemon and Pistachio Cake*
Makes one 9 inch round cake
Serving around 8 people
A deliciously tangy cake covered with sweet candied slices of fruit and crunchy pistachios! A wonderful teatime treat! Make sure you use good quality shelled pistachios (not the roasted salted ones please).
For the candied fruit:
1 lemon sliced
1 lime sliced
100g caster sugar (generous 1/2 cup)
100ml of water (6 TBS plus 2 tsp water)
For the cake:
125g unsalted butter, softened (2/3 cup)
75g caster sugar (a generous 3/4 cup of superfine sugar)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
125g plain flour (a generous 1 cup)
pinch of table salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped (about 4 1/2 ounces)
the juice and grated zest of one unwaxed lemon
the zest of one lime
To serve: icing sugar to dust
First do the fruit. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil for several minutes. Add the sliced fruit, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the syrup before draining, reserving the syrup. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/Gas mark 2 1/2. Butter a 9 inch round cake tin and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cream together the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs. sift together the slour, salt and baking powder. Stir in to mix completely. Stir in two thirds of hte chopped nuts and the lemon and lime zests. Stir in about 1 TBS of the syrup from the drained fruit.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Top with the slices of candied fruit and sprinkle the pistachio nuts evenly over top of all. Drizzle with a bit of the reserved syrup. Bake in the heated oven on the middle shelf for about 40 minutes. Test with a toothpick to see if it is done. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean, and the top should spring back when gently pressed. Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling. Brush the top of the cake with some more of the reserved syrup.
If desired dust with icing sugar before cutting into wedges to serve.
Know what people. Having a bad cold is the pits . . . but having a rotten bad cold on the Queens Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend . . . is the worst thing of all. All I want to do is go to bed with my hot water bottle and some aspirin . . .