My it's been a busy week for us Brits hasn't it?! At least, it has been for poor little me. Markets to attend, Birthdays to celebrate, cake clubs to partake in, jubilee street parties to organise and last but not least a fierce cold to fight off. All this in the space of a week has lead to a very tired Katie, the only thing to perk me up is knowing I discovered this gem of a cake.
I made this cake for the Newcastle branch of the famous Clandestine Cake Club movement currently taking the UK by storm. The theme was English country garden and despite the fact you'd probably never find pistachios nor oranges in a typical English garden I felt it sounded too delicious to overlook. To tie it into the garden theme I decided to crystallize some beautiful yellow roses to adorn the top of the delicious cake, but if you can't be bothered to paint flowers don't worry, this cake is just as yummy without them.
Pistachio & Orange Blossom Cake
(from Bake & Decorate - Fiona Cairns)
For the cake:
175g unsalted butter, softened
100g unsalted pistachios, toasted
70g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
200g golden caster sugar
zest of 1 large orange
4 large eggs
70g ground almonds
2tsp orange blossom water
For the syrup:
Juice of 1 orange
45g golden caster sugar
1tbsp orange blossom water
For the frosting:
zest of 1 large orange
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1tsp orange blossom water
30g golden caster sugar
Preheat oven to 170C fan. Lightly butter and line a 20cm springform cake tin. Grind the toasted pistachios in a food processor till fine.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and zest until light and fluffy and slowly add the eggs, one by one mixing between each addition. If the mixture begins to curdle add 1tbsp of flour between each egg. Fold in the almonds, pistachio and remaining flour followed by the orange blossom water.
Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 40 - 50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make the syrup: tip the orange juice, sugar and orange blossom water into a small saucepan and heat till boiling. Reduce the liquid until thickened and syrupy.
Immediately after the cake comes out of the oven prick it all over with a skewer and drizzle over the reduced syrup. Leave in the tin till completely cooled.
Turn the cake upside down on a cake stand so the bottom now forms the top. Beat together all the ingredients for the frosting and spread it on evenly with a palate knife.