Today, I have a very nice cake from Belinda Jeffery’s cookbook, Desserts. As I have mentioned (a few times) before, I do like Belinda Jeffery’s books. I actually make recipes from them which is more than I can say for a lot of my books. I also like syrup cakes because I have a tendency to over cook my cakes. As a result, they tend to be on the dry side. The syrup hides this fact. If you have a similar tendency, syrup cakes could be for you, too.
We had this cake last week but, alas, I didn’t have the internet so I couldn’t do a post. Spookily, when we moved out of our house, I sent a broadcast email around to a few people explaining that we may not have the internet for a while because getting connected with communication companies rarely goes to plan. Well, that was 6 weeks ago and we still do not have a connection. I won’t go through the whole saga (but am willing to whine, moan and bitch to anyone who is willing to listen). Let me just say that it was not as simple as you would think getting an internet connection in an inner city suburb would be in 2017.
But, now, we are back in the country and I am very, very happy to be connected to the world, again.
Belinda mentions in her book that the original recipe came from the food writer and cooking teacher, Elise Pascoe. She also advised that the original version was made with lemons but she uses limes because she has a lime tree. Therefore, use whatever you have.
When grinding the nuts, Belinda suggests adding a tablespoon of flour from the ingredients which stops the nuts forming a paste. The trick, of course, is to grind the nuts finely without getting a nut butter.
My trick is to whizz the nuts until I see that some are finely ground. I then put the nuts through a coarse sieve. The nuts that don’t pass through go back into the blender for another whizz. I keep doing this until all the nuts pass through.
- 60g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 100g pistachios, finely ground
- finely grated zest of 3 limes
- 120g almond meal
- 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds, to decorate. (I just kept adding them until I thought it looked good.)
- Softly whipped cream to serve (I bought, and whipped, the cream but forgot to serve it! The cake tasted fine but was better with it.)
Pistachio and lime syrup:
- 90g of caster sugar
- 125 mls strained fresh lime juice
- 90g pistachios, roughly chopped ( I used more, probably about 150g. I kept adding them until I thought the cake was nicely covered. )
- Preheat your oven to 170˚C.
- Line the base of a 22-24 cm round cake tin with baking paper. Butter the sides and then dust them with flour. Set aside.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together into a bowl.
- Add the ground pistachios, lime zest and almond meal. Whisk everything together with a balloon whisk. Set the bowl aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Allow each egg to be absorbed before adding the next.
- Add the flour mixture and mix everything together until it is just combined. Don’t over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
- Bake the cake in your preheated oven until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean – about 45-50 minutes.
- Let the cake cool a little in the tin then set it out onto a serving plate.
Whilst the cake is cooling, make the syrup.
- Put the sugar and lime juice into a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the chopped pistachios. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil.
- Slowly spoon the hot pistachio and lime syrup evenly over the top. I used a skewer to make a few holes in the cake to encourage the syrup to seep in.
- Leave the cake to cool completely.
- Just before serving, scatter the top with pomegranate seeds.
- Serve with whipped cream.