Thursday, February 25, 2010

Claudia Roden's Pistachio Cake

This is a gorgeous recipe from Claudia Roden’s book Arabesque. I made it for the first time a few weeks ago for my Valentine’s Eve dinner and it turned out deliciously moist and luscious. When I took the first bite, I immediately thought of Mama who loves pistachios. I made it again tonight so she can have it with her tea tomorrow when she arrives in New York.  

For the syrup:  
1½ cups sugar  
¾ cup water  
1 tbsp lemon juice  
2 tbsp rose water  

For the cake:  
5 eggs, separated  
1 cup superfine sugar  
1½ cups pistachios, ground finely  
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped very coarsely  

To serve: 
¾ cup clotted or heavy cream (optional) 

Make the syrup first. Bring the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, then stir in the rose water. Let the syrup cool, then chill it in the refrigerator. 

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a pale cream, then add the ground pistachios and mix very well. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them in gently. Pour into a greased and floured non-stick cake tin 9-10” in diameter and sprinkle the coarsely chopped pistachios on top. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 350ºF for about 45 minutes. 

Turn the cake out into a deep serving dish. Make little holes over the top with a fork and pour over the syrup. The holes will let it soak in quickly. 

Serve, if you like, with clotted or heavy cream.

Recipe copyright © 2005 by Claudia Roden.


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