This was adapted from a recipe by Benjamina from last year’s Great British Bake Off.
I say adapted in that I didn’t have enough pistachios so made up the difference with the contents of a bag of mixed nuts (cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts). It tasted quite delicious still
- 100g of pistachios
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 green cardamom pods, peel to remove the seeds and grind them in a pestle and mortar to make 1 tsp of ground cardamom
- The zest of one unwaxed lemon
- 100g plain flour
- 30g of ground almonds, sifted
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicardonate of soda
- 50g sour cream
For the lemon syrup
- 2 lemons, juice only. I was lazy and used a bottle of Jif lemon juice. I used 4 tbsps.
- 120g caster sugar
For the lemon Icing
- 75g sugar
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice (seriously, just use Jif. It’s much easier)
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin. I gave it a spray with cake release spray, which is much easier in my opinion.
In a food processor, pulse the pistachios (or whatever nuts you are using) to make a powder.
In a large bowl, mix together the vegetable oil and caster sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, ground cardamom and lemon zest. Stir until combined.
In a separate bowl, add the flour, ground pistachios, ground almonds, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate soda. Stir until well combined then fold into the wet ingredients in the other bowl. Fold in the soured cream.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
About 10 minutes from the end of the baking time make the syrup. Heat the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved, then briefly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
As soon as the cake is cooked, poke holes all over the top using a skewer. Pour over two-thirds of the hot syrup. Add half the extra pistachios (for decorating the cake) to the remaining syrup.
Allow the cake to cool entirely in the tin. When it is cool turn it out under a wire rack.
For the lemon icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice until smooth.Add just a little of the lemon juice at a time as you want a fairly thick icing. Drizzle over the cooled cake.
Finally chop the remaining pistachios and sprinkle onto the icing before it sets. Finish off with the syrup coated whole pistachios.