I hope you all had a lovely Christmas with a ton of delicious food and perhaps even a touch of snow? In Denmark the white stuff appeared, as if on cue, just around the 24th. And then vanished as gently as it had fallen. Terrific timing.
Luckily, although Christmas is over the festivities continue. In some ways I’m more excited about New Year’s Eve than Christmas just because you’re allowed to be more innovative food-wise. At least in my family the traditional Christmas menu is sacred, reserving the culinary fireworks (!) for the final meal of the year. This recipe from Pip&LittleBlue is perfect for the occasion: extravagant and exotic, it is big on colour and flavour. It is the kind of cake that instantly grabs everyone’s attention and then leaves them smiling fondly when they discover it tastes as good as it looks.
The recipe is slightly altered, mainly because pistachios are extremely expensive in Denmark. So instead of 350 g in the batter I used 200 g and added flour and extra sugar. I also made one cake instead of sandwiching two cakes together between a layer of cream – for ease and because I don’t like having too much cream with cake (I know some of you will be gasping with disapproval now!).
I wish you all a fun-filled festive New Year’s Eve! See you again in 2015.
50 g unsalted butter
300 g sugar
200 g shelled (salted) pistachios, ground
75 g plain flour
1 tsp ground cardamom
1½ tsps baking powder
zest and juice of ½ lemon
For the topping:
juice and seeds of ½ pomegranate
150 ml double cream
zest and juice of ½ lemon
40 g shelled (salted) pistachios, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius or 175 degrees fan-forced. Line a 20 cm round tin with baking parchment.
2. Melt butter in the microwave and set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs until pale and light. Gradually fold in the ground pistachios, cardamom, baking powder, melted butter, lemon zest and juice – gently so as not to take the air out of the batter.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Tip: if the cake is browning too quickly on top, pop some foil on top.
5. Remove the seeds from half a pomegranate. Tip: this is dirty work so do it in the sink! Keep a bowl under your hands to catch the juice pouring from the fruit. By the time you have removed the seeds there should be at least a couple tablespoons of juice. Alternatively crush a handful of the seeds.
6. Whisk the cream until thick and stir in the pomegranate juice, lemon zest and juice. Spread unto the cooled cake and decorate with pomegranate seeds and pistachios.