April 7, 2005
It was a love at first sight, so to speak. I first saw it here about a month ago, and I already knew I was going to make it - and now I finally have, thanks to Josh who has included the recipe in the post. The cake, simply and rightfully named Pistachio Cake in book Italian Easy: Recipes from the London River Cafe by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers (Clarkson Potter, 2004), features pistachio and lemon - two of what I would most associate with Sicily - in both cake and topping. I love pistachio, I love lemon, then how can I go wrong?
Of course I didn't. The cake was really rich and slighly crumbly because of the high content of nuts (pistachio and almonds), and surprisingly lemony.
It tasted delicious as is, but what was even better was the topping; I would typically skip anything called "syrup" or "frosting" for simple cake like this, but this one looked too good - a bunch of pistachios in the syrup made from lemon juice and sugar. It actually added an extra kick of lemon and a crunch of the nuts, making the cake that was already rich and brisk even more so.
The topping also made the plain cake look really pretty with its gloss, giving the pistachios an almost gem-like shine. I loved it!
Because I didn't blanch the almonds or pistachios, the cake itself looked a bit dull and not as green as you might fancy, but I didn't care...
Speaking of green, I made really green cakes on another occasion; I tried green tea financiers, using a recipe in Les Gateaux de Mamie by Marie Brazier (Marabout, 2002), the book Estelle kindly got me from one of her recent visits to France.
This was the first recipe that I tried from the book, partly because I was interested to try and see how a French recipe using a Japanese ingredient (matcha, or green tea) would turn out, partly because I was curious about the recipe of financier using whole eggs; as far as I know, financiers usually use egg whites only. Or maybe just because I was tempted to use my new FLEXIPAN mini-financier pan - in fact, I made these on the same day I made yuzu & olive financiers.
The cakes were a breeze to make, and somehow turned really green, a lot greener than they looked in the photo of the book. I mildly wondered why as I was making the batter, and then realized that I used too much green tea powder; I put a tablespoon, as opposed to a teaspoon, of green powder - oops! It was too late. Not surprisingly, the cakes had a really strong taste of green tea, which I actually didn't mind, but a little less would sure have been just right.
Not a green thing, but a pink: last night I went out to see some cherry blossoms in a nearby park. Japanese people have been particularly partial to cherry blossoms for at least a thousand years, busy talking about which spots have good ones, when they start blooming, etc, making it almost a ritual to celebrate them as a symbol of the arrival of spring.
Blossoms are beautiful in the sunshine, but they also have an allure in the dark.
I shall hopefully come back with more pictures of cherry blossoms if I am lucky...
posted by chika at: 4/07/2005 05:31:00 PM