Sunday, 2 July 2017

Pistachio orange cake

best nutty cakes

Last week my husband's book Mafia Life was officially out. I have already spotted it in the local Waterstone's. To mark the occasion, Eddie drew a card for his Daddy with the words "Best book ever!" (if you are going to flatter, slather it liberally!) and I baked a cake.
I wanted to do something with pistachios and a punnet of blackberries from the market.

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I couldn't find any chopped pistachios, so I blitzed a bag of pistachios with a hand blender. I put the nuts in a mixing bowl inside a plastic bag, which I tied around the hand blender, then blitzed the nuts, so they all stayed inside rather than flied around the kitchen (lesson learnt from the previous experience when the nuts ended up everywhere around, including my hair).

best nutty bakes

Pistachio Orange Cake
150g pistachios, unsalted and shelled
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
zest of 2 oranges
juice of 1 orange
150g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
icing sugar, for dusting over
for the compote:
a punnet of blackberries (150g)
50g caster sugar
50ml damson gin
juice of 1/2 orange

First blitz the pistachios in a deep bowl (see the method above).
In a big mixing bowl beat the softened butter with caster sugar until creamy pale, add the eggs one at a time, then mix in the zest and juice of orange. Sift in the flour and baking powder, mix well.

Cut out a circle out of the parchment paper or foil to fit inside the spring cake tin and place inside. Oil the tin. Pour in the cake batter.

Place the tin in the oven preheated to 180C. Bake for 40+ minutes. Check readiness with a wooden toothpick, if it comes clean, the cake is ready.
Take the tin out of the oven, and let the cake cool on the cooling rack.
Sift a bit of icing sugar on top.

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The cake is lovely just as it is, but if you want it to be more special, make a fresh berry compote.
I used a punnet of blackberries. Raspberries would be a good idea as well.
Heat up the mix of orange juice, gin and caster sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the berries, and cook on low for a couple of minutes.
This compote could be eaten warm or cold.


  1. Looks delicious. Will have to give it a try.

  2. Wow, that's so cool - you're the wife of a published author ! Your story of blitzing nuts made me laugh because I had a similar experience - I now wrap a teatowel around and over the bowl like a tent to keep all the bits in ! I love the colour of the cake and I can imagine it has a lovely flavour too :)