Saturday, 11 March 2017

Pistachio and Cardamom Cake

Posted by Kim Fong On 7:18 pm

I have this habit... some would call it a vice, of buying recipe books and probably never cook anything from it and it sits nice a pretty on a bookshelf. On a recent walk past this bookshelf, i decided to read a cupcake recipe book. A book don't recall making anything from but it had pages so neatly tabbed. Hmm what did past me like so much in this book she had to tab them. It was with good reason I tabbed those pages. A number of interesting sounding recipes with unique flavour combinations - this one in particular - Pistachio and Cardamom! 

It must be fate I came across this as I had all the ingredients on hand. This will make for a good dessert after a dinner of curry! And indeed it did. I decided to turn this recipe into a cake, rather than cupcake. It just meant altering the cooking time. Admittedly - this cake is nicer a day or two after it's been made, it will be going in the regular rotation! It reminds me of barfi (an Indian sweet) that I grew up with in Fiji, especially when I opened the lid of the blender! YUM!!!

I didn't following the recipe's "suggestion" to serve with a honey yoghurt topping but you're welcome to mix 250g (1 cup) of plain yoghurt with 1 tablespoon with honey. I also added turmeric for some colour and vanilla essence and cinnamon powder for flavour.

140g (1 cup) pistachio kernels
1/2 tspn ground cardamom (I slipped a bit when I tried to measure out half a teaspoon, so it's closer to 3/4 to 1 tspn)
150g butter, chopped
185g (1&1/2 cups) self-raising flour
170g (3/4) caster sugar - I cut this down to half a cup (125g)
1/2 tspn turmeric
1/4 tspn cinnamon
1/2 tspn vanilla essence
3 eggs
125g plain yoghurt

Syrup / Glaze
115g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
100ml water 
rind of 1 lime (grated)

1. Preheat oven to 170C. Line sides and base of a 8 inch / 20cm round cake pan (spring form works well). 

2. Place pistachios and cardamom in a food processor and pulse until chopped and resembles large crumbs. Add butter, flour, sugar, turmeric, cinnamon and process until crumbly (finer crumbs), scrap down sides with spatula if necessary. 

3. Add eggs, vanilla and yoghurt and continue to process until all is combined and resembles a runny cake batter.

4. Pour mixture into prepared cake tin and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Turn cake out and place on serving plate. Poke some holes in the top with skewer/tooth pick to allow syrup to be absorbed by the cake. 

5. While cake is baking, make syrup/glaze but DO NOT over boil this - the syrup will go hard! In a small pot, over low heat place water and sugar. until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to boil and add lime rind and simmer for 5 minutes. Drizzle or brush syrup over warm cake. Decorate cake with a sprinkle of ground cardamom (and honey yoghurt).

Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake

Posted by Kim Fong On 3:18 pm

Following an impulse purchase of a bundt cake tin, it sat among my collection of bakeware for months. Then I received some lemons from my mum, I thought to make use of this tin. I was a bit nervous at first - what if it doesn't come out - it will be stuck there forever! Over dramatic - just a little! After researching an few different blogs, I decided to bite the bullet and use the bundt and make lemon poppyseed cake for my weekly family dinner. It turned out PERFECT-O! Thanks to Sally's Baking Addiction. The cake is moist, not too sweet, great tangy lemon-y flavour. Made this twice more in subsequent days to use up to lemons and share the love.

Below my version of events.



2 & 3/4 cups (343g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt (reduce if using salted butter)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1&1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of 2 large lemons
juice of 2 large lemons (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, room temperature

Lemon Simple "Soaking" Syrup

1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
juice of 1 large orange (about 1/2 cup)

Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup (60g) sifted icing sugar
juice of 1/4 large orange or (2 Tablespoons)
At this point I actually used the leftover "soaking syrup" and kept adding enough icing sugar to make a runny paste.


1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Greased bundt tin with melted butter thoroughly. Set aside.

2. Sift the flour and cornstarch together into a large bowl. Whisk in the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and poppy seeds. Set aside.

3. Using a cake mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamy and pale. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Beat in the lemon zest and lemon juice. 

4. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly thick.

5. Pour/spoon the batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cover the cake loosely with aluminum foil if you begin to see the top browning quickly. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes inside the pan. Then turn out onto cooling rack.

6. During this time, make the simple syrup. Combine the granulated sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, cook until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.

7. Place warm bundt cake on a large plate or serving dish and spoon the syrup on top of the cake. Allow cake to cool completely.

8. With the leftover syrup whisk in icing sugar to form a thick and runny paste. Do this a tablespoon at a time. Drizzle over cooled cake. Slice and serve.

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