Saturday, September 22, 2012

You say pistachio, I say pistéise: It's still cake

Pistachio Cake. Or Caca Pistéise as Gaeilge for the Irish contingent (Mum, you're reading this right?).  Or maybe it's more of a bread. Either way, I really think you should make it too. And invite me over and we'll have a couple of slices, buttered, with a cup of tea. 

Pistachio/Pistéise Cake/Bread

Now this bread actually got me on the telly. I kid you not. I was as surprised as you - have a little read here and see how.

It's a bit like a banana bread, but with no bananas and pistachios instead. And it's green. So not like a banana bread then. 

Soft on the inside, with a bit of crunch, it's perfect for the darker autumn evenings. When did that happen? Now that it's autumn I've lost the run of myself. In August I could still pretend I was going to fit back into those summer clothes from 5 years ago. But that nonsense is over now and I can wrap myself up in a cosy jumper and tuck into this. 

Here's how you too can have your cake and eat it:


295g/10.5oz plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
120g/40z butter, softened and extra for greasing
225g/8oz caster sugar
2 free range eggs
85ml/3fl oz buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to whole milk)
2.5 tea spoons natural green food colouring (you don't have to colour it, but I wanted a patriotic hue)
75g pistachios, shelled (As an extra touch, buy with shells and spend a fruitful hour shelling them)


Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time 50 minutes

Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.

In another bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and buttermilk and mix well. 

Roast the pistachios in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove, chop roughly and add to the flour mixture.

Fold the flour mixture into the liquid mixture.

Add the food colouring. I prefer a light green colour. If you want a darker colour add more – be careful and add drop by drop. I said careful! You don't want to end up with a fluorescent green cake.
Colour before mixing, scroll down to see the finished colour

Grease a 20cm x 12.5cm/8in x 5in loaf tin with butter.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for approximately 50 minutes or until golden brown. 

To check if it's cooked you could either elegantly stick your finger into it, as I have below. Or a skewer (or knife), if it comes out clean you're good to go. 

Serving suggestions

Gobble it up when it's warm, but it's lovely cold too. You could add some butter or try with a little coconut yogurt. 

This will happily keep for 3 days, stored in an airtight container and if you don't tell anyone it's there. 

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