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Tag: pistachio

Pistachio Cakes

Here she is. After many, many years of being loved, lost, forgotten, and then finally found again, I present to thee, the pistachio cake. As a very much non sweet tooth person, this is one of my top three favourite cakes, ever. They are fragrant with almonds, pistachios, and marzipan with just the slightest hint of cardamom. They are perfection.

A quick note before you start baking – the marzipan isn’t very intense. It’s mainly there for texture and to be a supporting role to the pistachio flavour. I used to add a few drops of almond flavour, but I don’t think it really needs it. You can also add green food colouring to really bring home that pistachio component, but again, that’s completely optional.

Pistachio cakes with marzipan and a hint of cardamom

Originally found in a (in the meantime lost) Delicious Magazine add-on

Makes 12

80g skinned ground almonds (if you’re feeling fancy, you can replace this with equal amounts ground pistachios)

20g salted pistachios, finely ground in a food processor

30g extra salted pistachios, roughly chopped

100g unsalted butter, softened

80g white sugar

80g marzipan, chopped or torn into small pieces

2 eggs

½ tsp vanilla essence

30g semolina flour (Semolina flour is a lot finer than semolina, but if you can’t find it, semolina will do. Polenta also makes an excellent substitute if you want to make this gluten free. Just remember, the texture will be a little coarser than what you’d get with semolina flour.)

1/4 tsp ground cardamom, from about 5 cardamom pods

Icing

50g butter, softened

100g cream cheese 

50g icing sugar – you might need less, or more, depending on how sweet you want it

a few drops of rosewater

½ tsp vanilla essence

Toppings (optional)

1 dried rose bud, crumbled 

12 extra whole salted pistachios

1 Tbsp finely chopped salted pistachios

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with muffin cases.

In a large bowl, smush together the softened butter and the sugar until combined (you obviously skip this step and start beating the two with a hand-held mixer, however, I’ve found that this will prevent the sugar from flying out of the bowl when you turn on the mixer). Grab your mixer and beat the butter sugar mixture until well-combined and fluffy. Add the pieces of torn marzipan and beat for another minute. Don’t worry about there being lumps – there are few things better than the surprise of a nugget of molten marzipan when biting into one of these. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.

Add the ground pistachios, the ground almonds, the extra chopped pistachios, the vanilla essence, the semolina flour and the ground cardamom and beat thoroughly.

Fill the muffin cases about halfway, starting with about 1 Tbsp batter per case and dividing the rest. Transfer the muffin tin into the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. The cakes are done once they’ve taken on a golden hue and don’t sink in when gently poked with a finger. Remove from the oven and cool.

For the icing, mix together the butter and cream cheese until well combine, than gradually stir in the icing sugar, one spoonful at a time, until you have a lump-free icing of your desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla and rose water.

To assemble, top each cake with as little or as much icing as you’re in the mood for, dotting with the whole pistachio and a sprinkling of the chopped pistachio and a pinch of crumbled dried rose petals. 

Saffron, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi

pistacio top

They said I had too much wisdom, so they took it all away. Bastards. I mean, what is even the point of having four extra teeth right in the back of your mouth?  It’s a pretty flimsy attempt of interior decoration if anything. Just an added bonus for having successfully survived the crippling years teenage hood and transferred to the next blissful decade of so-called life. You’d think we would’ve evolved past that by now. Have an inbuilt toothbrush instead. Evolution? Whatever.

 

Other than pain I’ve had some other great things happen to me these last couple of days. Like soup. And cold packs. And delicious pain killers. Before you get all jealous though, let me tell you about ice cream. Because ice cream is delicious. You know those moments when you invite people for dinner and they bring along something that just completely blows your mind? Nah? You’ve got the wrong friends.

 

I’ve adapted, adopted and tweaked le recipe, and this is what I ended up with. In the past, a very long time ago – the wisdom era I like to call it – I made some cardamom and pistachio kulfi. A deliciously moreish and refreshing milky ice cream enjoyed in India. Well, now it’s time for another one, the rosewater and saffron one. Kittens, it truly is a stunner. And before you point it out, yes, it’s got pistachios as well, but come on, what goes better with saffron, both visually and tastedly?

saffron rosewater kulfi

Saffron, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi

 

400ml mi full cream milk

1 big pinch of salt

1 big pinch saffron threads, or 1 packet ground

1 can/379g condensed milk

1 can/354ml evaporated milk

2 Tbsp rosewater

50g pistachios,  chopped

 

Heat the milk in a saucepan until hot. Add the salt and the saffron and let it steep for a few minutes until the milk turns golden. If your saucepan is big enough, whisk in the condensed- and evaporated milk, as well as the rosewater. Alternatively, pour everything into a plastic container that will fit into your freezer. To speed everything up, place it into the freezer already. None of that “waiting till it’s room temperature” bullshit. Every half hour or so, whisk the mixture with a fork so as to break up the ice crystals. After about 4 hours or more, depending on how good your freezer is, your mixture will have the consistency of slushy snow. Now stir in the pistachios and fill into whatever mould makes you happy. I usually use small cups or those popsicle trays you can buy. If you’re lucky enough to have 2 of those trays, I reckon you could make 14-16. Now put them back into the freezer to firm up. When ready, hold a knife under a hot tap and slide it around the edge of each popsicle until it comes out.

Kulfi time

cardamom pistachio kulfi

When I was in high school, my mum and I had a Friday evening tradition of going to our favourite Indian restaurant for dinner. Amongst many other places, we’ve been to India three times together, and I will say without a smidge of shame that one of the main reasons that made us keep wanting to go back was the food. The history and the culture and all that amazingness too of course, but man, that food.

This is possibly my favourite Indian dessert, although I’d rather not have favourites. To all you kulfi-novices-soon-to be-onverted out there, kulfi is a type of ice cream. It is prepared by evaporating sweetened and flavoured milk by slowly cooking it, until it has reduced considerably in volume and has thickened in consistency. This deliciousness is then frozen in little moulds and then people like me stuff their faces with them.

Without further ado, make this, now. Especially if you’re in Melbourne and sweating yourself senseless. Or because you just think you need to impress the pants off yourself.

By all means, replace the milk partially or fully with cream. I’ve just always done it with milk. And basically it’s just a very rare occasion where I find half a litre of cream in my fridge looking at me with big eyes, begging to be made into ice cream. But then again, the dairy section of your fridge might be different.

Cardamom and Pistachio Kulfi

 

400ml mi full cream milk

10 cardamom pods, seeds removed and finely ground

1 big pinch of salt

1 can/379g condensed milk

1 can/354ml evaporated milk

50g pistachios, finely chopped

Combine the milk, the cardamom and the salt in a small saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Remove from heat and pour into a large square plastic container. Whisk in the condensed- and evaporated milk. Let it come to room temperature, or if your as impatient as me, immediately stick it in the freezer. Every half hour or so, whisk the mixture with a fork so as to break the ice crystals, you know the story. After about 4 hours or more, depending on how good your freezer is, your mixture will have the consistency of slushy snow. Now stir in the pistachios and fill into whatever mould makes you happy. I usually use small cups or those popsicle trays you can buy. If you’re lucky enough to have 2 of those trays, I reckon you could make 14-16. Now put them back into the freezer to firm up. When ready, hold a knife under a hot tap and slide it around the edge of each popsicle until it comes out.

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