I made this cake a while ago, but misplaced the recipe, so it’s been on hold for a while. I finally tracked the recipe down, in Cakes and Loaves by Ilona Chovancova. The bottom of the cake has a bit of a green colour to it from the pistachios – I made it because I liked the colour contrast, and also enjoy a lemony loaf. At first I was hesitant to post this recipe because the colour didn’t turn out quite as green as it looked it the cookbook. But it ended up being really tasty, so I have almost gotten over the disappointment of the colour. And it still looks pretty good.
I just changed a little bit of the process of mixing this cake. The cookbook asks you to add the baking powder and soda at the end of the mixing, but I worried that I might have pockets of these ingredients that would cause an unpleasant eating experience. So I added the flour in two portions, with the baking powder and soda mixed in.
The only other thing I might change is to add a little more lemon zest, because I really like a more pronounced lemon flavour.
What you need:
- 100 grams (3 & 1/2 ounces) shelled pistachios
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2/3 cup flour
- zest of one organic lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
What you do:
- Butter and flour a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Grind the pistachios into a powder in a food processor or spice grinder.
- Melt the butter.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, and doubled in volume.
- Gradually add 1/3 cup of flour, salt, melted butter, lemon juice and zest. Combine the last 1/3 cup of flour with the baking powder and baking soda, then gently fold in to the batter.
- Divide the batter into two portions, folding the pistachios into one part.
- Pour the pistachio batter in first, then the other one on top. Swirl together with a fork gently.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick – there should be some crumbs clinging to the toothpick, but no wet batter. Let the cake cool slightly before removing from the pan to cool.