Monday, June 20, 2011

sunday sweets {pistachio, yogurt & elderflower cake}

Things were going so well.

By now you may have caught on that I am not the most graceful of bakers. I make a lot of mistakes, I get angry easily, and more often than not, my desserts don't look like they do in magazines. However, despite their lack of visual appeal, they are always delicious, which I suppose, is what truly matters.

With this cake from Jamie Oliver's magazine, I made a promise to myself in the beginning that I was going to read everything and follow the recipe exactly. I was NOT going to make a mistake, and it was going to look glorious. For the most part, I kept this promise to myself. Everything was going to swimmingly, the batter looked correct, and was quite tasty, it cooked perfectly, the icing was going well; everything seemed to be perfect. It is at these moments when the likelihood of disaster is at its highest.

I went to flip the cake onto my cake stand {something I usually have Jacob do in fear that I will ruin everything, he was not here though, so I was forced to do it myself. So really this is his fault}, and it seemed to be stuck, despite my excessive use of pan spray. I thought a good shake might do the trick, and guess what? It did. The cake came out in chunks, which I then puzzled back together while mumbling obscenities under my breath. After "gluing" the chunks together with icing I was left with this:

Just once I would like my dessert to turn out like this:

Oh well, it's still rather tasty. Lots of elderflower and pistachio taste, which I love. So give it a try, it's great for the summer, and perhaps you can make it prettier than mine.

Ingredients: {they were originally measured in grams, but I've taken the liberty of converting them for you}
For the cake:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup pistachios roughly chopped
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 cup polenta {this was confusing since polenta is mainly cornmeal, I bought an instant polenta mix and used that}
2 tbsp greek yogurt
3 eggs
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Elderflower syrup:
5 oz elderflower cordial
2-3 tbsp runny honey
lemon juice, to taste

Elderflower icing:
1 cup greek yogurt
3 tbsp powdered sugar
2tbsp elderflower syrup

For the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Grease and line the base and sides of a round cake tin. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the pistachios, almonds, polenta, baking powder, and yogurt and mix well.
2. Crack in the eggs, one by one, and mix in. Add the lemon zest and juice, stir to combine and pour the mixture into the cake. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool.

For the syrup:
1. Place the cordial and honey in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened. Taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice, if necessary.
2. Reserve 2 tablespoons of syrup for the icing. Poke holes in the cake using a skewer. Pour remaining syrup over the warm cake and let cool completely.

For the icing:
1. Mix the yogurt, powdered sugar, and syrup until smooth. Spread over the cooled cake and top with a handful of chopped pistachios.


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