Saturday, February 3, 2018

Almond Pistachio Cake with Fleur de Sel


Time for some blogging again – after having participated in the #cook90 challenge from Epicurious magazine (here) for the third time and having cooked and baked 90 meals and treats in 30 days, and after having taken a few deep breaths, I believe this is a good time to post a recipe again. A simple one. One that comes together in no time. Most importantly, with ingredients that most of us have on hand, well, maybe not the natural, unsalted pistachios, but then again, who knows. So, without further ado, let´s bake a nutty February teatime treat. A healthyish kind of teatime delight. And after a very dark month of December and January, let´s also hope that the sun will come again soon.




Almond Pistachio Cake with Fleur de Sel

Ingredients

For the Cake
  • 75g unsalted butter, plus some for greasing the baking pan
  • 110g superfine baking sugar
  • 110g light Muscovado sugar (OR your preferred soft brown sugar)
  • 8g pure vanilla sugar (OR use homemade vanilla sugar)
  • 3 eggs (M), free range or organic
  • 1 tbsp Amaretto or dark rum (OR use unfiltered apple juice)
  • 200g natural almonds, ground (OR use almond meal)
  • 80g light spelt flour (OR use AP/plain flour)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (preferably Ceylon cinnamon)
  • ½ tsp Natural Fine Sea Salt, such as  "Sel fin de Guérande"
  • ¼ to ½ tsp (according to your personal taste) Natural Flower Sea Salt, such as "Fleur de Sel de Guérande"




For the Topping
  • 80g natural unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped (you want to use the unsalted kind here and then add a good quality sea salt instead as that will let you control the amount of saltiness and taste in this recipe)
  • ¼ to ½ tsp (according to your personal taste) Natural Flower Sea Salt, such as "Fleur de Sel de Guérande"
  • 4g pure vanilla sugar
  • 1 tbsp superfine baking sugar




To serve (optional)
  • a few more chopped pistachios
  • dried rose petals (untreated)




In addition
  • springform pan 20cm (8 inches)
  • baking paper




Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).
  2. Grease a 20cm (8in) springform cake pan and line the bottom with baking paper.
  3. In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the topping. Set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat, take off the heat.
  5. Add the melted butter to a mixing bowl, then add the baking sugar, Muscovado sugar and vanilla sugar to the same bowl and mix all the ingredients together.
  6. Add the eggs, one after the other, making sure to stir the batter after each egg.
  7. Then add the Amaretto or dark rum (or apple juice) and stir again.
  8. In another mixing bowl, mix together the ground almonds, the spelt flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and the fine Fleur de Sel.
  9. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir everything together.
  10. Finally, add the batter to the prepared baking pan and top with the pistachio topping mix.
  11. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden-brown. The cake should have slightly shrunken from the sides.
  12. Leave it to cool in the baking pan on a wire rack.
  13. Just before serving, sprinkle with a few more chopped pistachios and dried rose petals. NOTE: While this cake is rather delicious the day it is made, because of the high nut ratio in the batter, it keeps very well for up to 3 days if wrapped well and kept in a cool place.




All you really need to remember when baking this cake is that you can make it easily by hand, no mixer needed, just a whisk and a wooden spoon. It is meant to taste a lot like nuts, that is almonds and pistachios, which, in my humble opinion, go very well together. It is also meant to taste pleasingly salty, from the addition of just the right amout of a good sea salt here. As I mentioned in the recipe above,  you want to use unsalted, good quality, fresh roasted pistachios here and then add a good quality sea salt instead of using pre-salted pistachios. That way you control the amount of good and balanced saltiness in this recipe. One more thing, I love using natural almonds with skins on in my recipe, but, by all means, if you prefer the skinned ones use those or use ready made almond meal.

And as the rose petals for that fancy final touch are concerned, they are optional, of course. But if you do use them, make sure to get organic and/or untreated ones.




4 comments:

  1. OOOO, such a gorgeous cake, Andrea.
    Such an ART Piece!
    I'd love to try some!
    You are amazing. xx from Duluth.

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    1. Dear Kim, I know I have been less than productive as far as my blog is concerned and at the same time have been busier than ever. Hopefully I will find the time to post more deligently in the future. Thank you my friend for your kind comment!
      Andrea

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  2. This look so delicious, Andrea! We love both almonds and pistachios, so this will be on our table soon! Liebe Grüße, David

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    1. Dear David, I believe this is your kind of cake as much as it is my kind of cake - you will love it. Delicious, nutty, no-fuss, it keeps well and it looks pretty.
      Thank you for stopping by! Appreciate your kind comment, my friend!
      Andrea

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