pistachio and lime syrup cake

I love cookbooks but I ran out of shelf space long ago. Last year I realised I could borrow cookbooks from the library and scan the recipes that appealled to me, before returning the book for someone else to enjoy.

That's how I came upon this recipe from Belinda Jeffery which I found in her latest book, 'In Belinda’s Kitchen – Essential Recipes'. As I'm going away soon, I wanted to use pantry staples and items already in my fridge, like the 4 limes I found lurking in the vegetable drawer, so this pistachio and lime syrup cake fitted the brief. 

Belinda writes foolproof recipes, so I knew this cake would turn out perfectly as long as I followed her instructions although I did deviate from the recipe a little. As I had to pull out the food processor to grind the pistachios, I decided to make the cake batter in there as well and it turned out just fine. Instead of using pomegranate seeds, I used dried rose petals which were already in the cupboard and of course I halved the recipe to suit my small tin.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a 17cm cake. If you'd like to make a larger cake, the original recipe can be found hereFor all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Pistachio and lime syrup cake - makes a 17cm cake
30g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
50g pistachios, finely ground
1½ tbs finely grated zest, approximately 2 large limes 
60g almond meal 
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
110g caster sugar
2 × 60g eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs dried rose petals to decorate, optional
rich cream or thick Greek-style yoghurt, to serve

Syrup and topping
45g caster sugar
¼ cup (60ml) fresh lime juice (from about 2 large limes), strained 
45g pistachios, roughly chopped

Preheat your oven to 170°C, conventional. Butter a 17cm round cake tin, line the base with buttered baking paper then dust the tin with flour. 

Tip the flour, baking powder, ground pistachios, lime zest and almond meal into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk them together with a balloon whisk for a minute or so, then set the bowl aside. 

Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a hand-held electric beater) and beat them on medium speed for about 4 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides occasionally, until the mixture looks creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to be absorbed before adding the next. (Don’t worry if the mixture looks a little curdled after adding the last egg – it will come together again when you add the dry ingredients.) Tip in the flour mixture and mix everything together on low speed until it is just combined – be careful not to over-mix it, or the cake may be a bit tough. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. 

Bake the cake for 45–50 minutes, or until it springs back when lightly pressed in the centre and a fine skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer it to a wire rack and leave it to cool a little in the tin.

When the cake is lukewarm, make the syrup. To do this, put the sugar and lime juice into a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the chopped pistachios, increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil. Turn the cake out onto a serving plate and peel away the baking paper. Slowly spoon the hot pistachio and lime syrup evenly over the top, then leave the cake to cool completely. 

Just before serving, scatter the cake with dried rose petals, if using. Serve with softly whipped cream or yoghurt. 

I love pistachios, so I knew I would love this cake, and the addition of the lime syrup makes for one zesty cake.

I shared the cake with my neighbours and they loved it as well.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


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