Friday, 3 April 2015

Lemon and Pistachio Easter Cake

Sous Chef J spotted this recipe in the Waitrose Spring Harvest 2015 leaflet.  Having looked through the ingredients we agreed that, although it uses self raising flour, we'd make a stab at baking a gluten free version. 

For the marzipan:
100g shelled and unsalted pistachios
50g ground almonds
75g golden caster sugar
75g icing sugar
1 medium egg white, lightly beaten
For the cake:
175g butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons, plus 3 tbsp juice
3 medium eggs
225g self-raising flour (we used Dove's Farm Gluten Free)
1 tsp baking powder
For the butter icing:
75g butter, softened
75g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp lemon juice
Chopped pistachios, to decorate

As always, the ingredients were weighed and measured - ready for use during the baking session.

We began by making the pistachio marzipan.  Adding the pistachios to our food processor, they were whizzed until they were finely ground.

Next we added the sugar, icing sugar, ground almonds and egg white and whizzed again to combine.

At this point the mix was turned out onto a silicone sheet and brought together into a dough by hand.  We were pleased with how good the marzipan was looking (and how easy it had been to make!) 

Taking the baking tins as templates, the marzipan was cut in half and then two circles were rolled out (between silicone sheets to stop sticking) to just less than the size of the tins.  These were then set to one side (covered to stop drying out) until the cake mix was ready.

Placing all the cake ingredients in a bowl apart from the lemon juice, the electric hand mixer was used to beat them together (there was rather a large dust storm at this point) until the mix looked light and creamy.  At this point the lemon juice was added and mixed in thoroughly.

Having used greaseproof liners in our 7" baking tins, the mix was divided and quarter was added to the base of each tin.   The layer of marzipan was then place on top, before adding the remaining quarter of mix and levelling it out.

The cakes were placed in a pre-heated 170ºC fan oven and baked for 30 minutes.  After checking the cakes, the oven was turned off and they remained in the residual heat for a further 5 minutes.  Placing the tins on a cooling rack, the cakes were allowed to cool for a few minutes before they were removed from the tins (still in the liner) and replaced on the cooling rack.  We left the cakes to cool completely overnight before decorating them.

Making the filling was really simple - just three ingredients were needed.  The butter (room temperature) and icing sugar were whisked together (in a cloud of icing sugar dust) until light and creamy when the lemon juice was mixed through.

Placing the bottom cake on a platter, the filling was spread over and then remaining cake was put on top.
Finally, the top was dusted with icing sugar and some chopped pistachios were sprinkled over... and then it was time to slice the cake and see how it looked!
The finished cake had a lovely look, when cut, it had clear layers, and tasted great - nice and lemony - plus we think it looks impressively like the pictures in the Waitrose leaflet.  This is definitely a recipe we'll bake again and again.

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