Nigel’s pistachio cake

posted by Jessica April 29, 2014 at 10:05 pm Baking, Uncategorized 3 comments , ,

Pistachio Cake

Between Nigella and Nigel, Louise and I have most of our culinary bases covered. A Nigel Slater cake recipe did me proud this weekend when I attended the wedding of my two good friends in Devon. It was a beautiful ceremony coloured by hand crafted-wizardry; pretty paper streamers looped the old wooden beams of the hall, candles glowed from homemade tin lanterns while jars of fresh flowers adorned each and every table. After being invited to contribute to a heaving table of cakes  baked by a few members of the congregation, it was an honour to get busy in the kitchen.

Knowing the bride to be fond of a Coconut Slice or two, I took a recipe from my book, The WI Vintage Teatime, which always come out just right. The centrepiece, Pistachio Cake with Lemon Frosting, is taken from Nigel’s Kitchen Diaries (the first), and was recommended by a talented baking friend. There are a whole load of amazing flavours in this cake. Fresh zest and juice of an orange. A small measure of rosewater. Ground almonds. Crushed pistachios. And a tangy lemony glaze to top it all off. The tiny requirement of of flour means it can be easily replaced with a gluten-free version without breaking too much of a sweat. Some bakers also add an extra dash of rosewater to the icing but I think there’s just enough flower power in the cake mixture itself. Here it is;

Pistachio Cake with Lemon Frosting

  • 250g butter
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g shelled pistachio nuts, finely ground
  • 100g ground almonds
  • Zest and juice of a large orange
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • 60g plain flour

for the icing:

  • juice of a lemon
  • 100g icing sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 160c and line the bottom of a non-stick 22cm tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Lightly grease the cream the butter and caster sugar together until the mixture is pale and fluffy. add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture well between each addition.
  3. Place the mixture in a large bowl and fold in the ground pistachios, ground almonds, orange zest and juice. Mix in the orange juice and rosewater then fold in the flour.
  4. Put the mixture into your cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, covering the top lightly with foil after 40 minutes. When the cake is ready a skewer, stuck into the centre, will come out clean without any wet cake mixture on it. Leave the cake in its tin to cool.
  5. Mix the lemon juice and together with the sieved icing sugar into the bowl and mix together, adding more lemon juice/ icing sugar as necessary.
  6. Cover the cake with icing and decorate with chopped pistachios and dried or crystalized rose petals.

3 Responses to “Nigel’s pistachio cake”

  • Thank you for this recipe. I am notoriously bad at making cakes. I don’t have a mixer, I use a bowl and wooden spoon so I can never get them right!
    I made this one this afternoon and honestly, I’m so amazed at myself- it’s beautiful!

    Thank you! Xx

  • Hi

    i have been making your recipe for the past three years. it is our breakfast cake which we enjoy throughly with tea. i dunno what has happened for the past few months that every time i bake this cake it remains a bit raw on the lower part while the upper half bakes perfectly. Though the batter doesnt taste raw but it is not cakey like its upper part.i have tried this in many other ovens including the professional one of my friend’s yet the result is the same. would you have the answer on why this is happening? me and my family loves this cake and we even take it as a gift for our friends and relatives whenevr the occassion demands. i am feeling so broken hearted ever since this cake is not baking correctly.

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