lime yoghurt and pistachio cake
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Aren’t yoghurt cakes gorgeous? And so easy – you just throw everything into a bowl and mix a bit, not even too much. I believe French children learn to bake those at pre-school age because it’s easy and fun, measuring out the other ingredients using the yoghurt pot – that’s gâteau au yaourt for you, voilà! I’ve always thought French education system was far superior…
This, apart from yoghurt, is also a drizzle cake. Do not worry too much about cooking the syrup, reducing it by half and so on – it must make the cake WET. I would boil it down far too much in the past until I saw my former boss and a baker extraordinaire slosh about a pint of lemony sugary water on her lemon cake, tilting the tin this way and that way to let it soak in better. And the result was astonishing. She didn’t even bother jabbing holes in it with a skewer. Ah - but there are artists and there are drones. I jab the holes.
The recipe is Rachel Allen’s from ‘Bake’. Pistachios are optional but add value, and rose water is a must – incredible flavour. And if you can get hold of those sugared rose petals, it will be a work of art. Much more sophisticated than a French toddler could make.
lime yoghurt and pistachio cakeServings: 14-16Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- For the cake:
- 225g plain flour
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 75g ground almonds
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g unsalted pistachios, chopped
- zest grated from 2 limes
- 2 eggs
- 50g honey
- 250ml (265g) plain yoghurt
- 150ml (140g) vegetable oil
- For the syrup:
- 150ml water
- 100g caster sugar
- juice squeezed from 2 limes
- 2 tbsp rose water
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Line a round 23cm tin with parchment, making sure it comes up above the rim – otherwise the syrup might leak out when drizzled on the cake if the tin has detachable bottom.
Mix the flour, the baking powder, salt, ground almonds, sugar, zest and half the chopped pistachios in a bowl. In a separate bowl or jug beat together the yoghurt, eggs, honey and oil. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and whisk together until just combined.
Pour into the tin and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
Prepare the syrup: boil the water and sugar for 5 minutes, then add the lime juice and boil for another 2 minutes. Take off the heat and add the rose water.
Jab the cake with a skewer all over, the more holes the moister it will be, then spoon the syrup over the surface. Sprinkle the remaining pistachios over the top, then sieve a bit of caster sugar over it.
If you have some preserved rose petals, they will look beautiful on the cake.