With the weather such a misery and my husband asking why I hadn’t baked anything this week, I decided it must be time to bake a cake to make everything seem just a little bit better. And with an evening spare ahead of me, it seemed the perfect time to scour the cupboards and see what I already had in stock.
After baking the lovely financiers a couple of weeks ago, I had lots of pistachios left over, so I wanted to bake something that would involve using the rest up. I also loved the moistness you get from a cake that involves more nuts and less flour. The nuts really do give a lightness that can often be missing from cakes.
One of the first cakes I ever baked was a lemon drizzle loaf cake and I think this might have been what set off my baking passion in the first place. There’s something so simple yet delicious about a lemon cake and I’m one of those people that adds an extra lemon into the mix just to give it some extra tang. I’m not quite as bad as my sister who eats lemons whole, but I do like the sharpness you can get from citrus fruits.
I decided therefore that it must be possible to combine a lovely lemon cake with the vibrant colour and flavour you can get from the pistachios.
Having done a search on Google it looked like this could be a winning combination!
I came across a few different recipes, but followed the following ingredients and method:
For the loaf:
20g plain flour
50g ground almonds
60g ground pistachios
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
125g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of one large lemon (I added in an extra half!)
Seeds from a vanilla pod
For the drizzle:
Juice and zest of one lemon ( I added in extra juice from a second lemon)
25g golden caster sugar
30 pistachios coarsely chopped up
Heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line your loaf tin with butter or baking parchment.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in whisked eggs one at a time followed by the lemon zest and vanilla seeds.
Grind up your pistachios and then mix with the almonds and flour.
Fold in the nuts and flour.
Spoon the batter into the pans and level out the mixture.
Bake for 40 minutes but check from time to time using a skewer. Once the skewer comes out clean, the cakes are done.
Leave the cakes on a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the drizzle:
Mix the lemon juice and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil until reduced to syrup. Add the zest towards the end along with the pistachios and pour over the loaf.
Serve in nice thick wedges!
I was slightly nervous when first cutting through the cake (especially as I didn’t give it any time to cool because I needed to go to sleep!) that maybe it wasn’t done, but actually, with the moistness of the nuts and all the extra drizzle that I had added (probably more than you’re meant to due to the extra lemon juice), it just has that slightly damp crumbly texture that really is just so scrumptious.
The sharpness of the lemon against the sugary caramel of the pistachios on the top really was the perfect flavour combination. The speckles of pistachio shone through which makes it such a pretty looking cake.
I honestly can say that in a day, there is a high chance there won’t be any left!