Lemon Pistachio Loaf

Lemon Pistachio Loaf

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:

  1. Butter and flour a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grind the pistachios into a powder in a food processor or spice grinder.
  3. Melt the butter.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, and doubled in volume.
  5. 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.
  6. Divide the batter into two portions, folding the pistachios into one part.
  7. Pour the pistachio batter in first, then the other one on top. Swirl together with a fork gently.
  8. 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 ┬áthe cake cool slightly before removing from the pan to cool.

 

Savoury Italian Cake

savoury italian cake - trust in kim
photo by sarah scott

This salty and cheesy savoury cake is something I baked to serve along with a friend’s chili at a Superbowl party. It is quite easy to make, and really tasty, flavoured with bacon, cheddar and parmesan cheeses, and arugula. So good.

I found the recipe in Ilona Chovancova’s cookbook Cakes and Loaves: 110 Recipes you can Make at Home. The main things I changed from the original recipe were some parts of the method of preparation. The author didn’t specify to cook the bacon, so I fried it to get a lot of the fat out of it, but didn’t make it crispy. The other part that confused me was the addition of baking powder: the author says to fold it in at the end, after everything else has been mixed. But this worried me – how would it be possible to mix it in completely without over-mixing? So I solved that problem by adding the flour in two portions, one at the end with the baking powder in it, and that way the baking powder would be distributed better. That would also avoid adding the baking powder with the rest of the flour, which could cause over mixing, resulting in a tough cake. Problem solved.

The only ingredient change I made was to use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.

What you need:

  • a generous handful of arugula
  • 150 grams bacon (or pancetta)
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 & 1/4 cups white aged cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup aged Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

What you do:

  1. Chop the bacon and fry it until most of the fat is removed, but don’t let it get crispy. Place the fried bacon on paper towels to absorb the fat. Let it cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a loaf pan.
  3. Chop the arugula coarsely.
  4. Combine the eggs, milk and oil in a large bowl and beat with a fork. Add 1 cup of the flour along with the cheeses, arugula, bacon, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Mix the baking powder into the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Fold the flour and baking powder into the batter.
  6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes. The top of the loaf should become browned, and a toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.
  7. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool.

This was delicious served cold, but if you can time it right, it would probably be awesome to eat it while it’s still a little warm.