Cardamom, Rose Water & Pistachio Cake

Middle Easter Dessert - Cardamom, Rose Water & Pistachio Cake

The title of this cake includes three of my favourite ingredients so I knew it was going to be right up my alley, and I was right. This cake is just a lovely combination of flavours – warmth and earthiness from the cardamom, beautiful aroma from the rose water and wonderful nuttiness and moistness from the pistachio. It also has just the right amount of sweetness and with its colourful presentation it would be just as nice for a tea time treat or as a dinner party dessert paired with some creme fraiche. I often have Middle Eastern themed dinners, be it Persian food or recipes inspired from Ottolenghi’s many books and this cake makes a great finale for these cuisines. As usual when you’re baking make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature and if possible do try to make this in a bundt tin as it adds to the visual appeal.

Ingredients    Adapted from The Foodies Wardrobe

1½ cups plain flour
¾ cup almond meal
¾ cup roughly ground pistachios (plus extra for garnish)
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
170 g unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
Dried edible rose petals for decoration – optional

For the glaze:
⅔ cups icing sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon rosewater
water – enought to make a paste

Method
Preheat oven to 170C. Grease a bundt tin with oil or butter and then dust with almond meal to create a good non-stick layer.

Mix the first 7 dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and blend until smooth. Mix the yoghurt and vanilla paste together in a bowl or measuring cup. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet to the butter and sugar.  Begin and end with the dry ingredients, beating just until blended with each addition.

  

Turn the batter into the greased tin. Bake for about 55 minutes in the centre of the oven. Test to check it is cooked by inserting a toothpick or skewer into the thickest part of the cake. It should come out clean. The cake should be risen and slightly golden on the top.

 

Cool in the tin, then invert when completely cold onto a plate. To make the glaze, mix all ingredients together in a bowl. The glaze should be thick like liquid honey, but still be able to run slowly off a spoon. If the glaze is too thin, you will find that it just runs completely off the side of the cake – you can add more icing sugar to thicken it if this is the case. Glaze the cake when it is completely cool.  Dust with crushed pistachio nuts and dried flowers while the icing is still wet.

Best Middle Eastern Dessert

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