By Charlotte White
Not only does this cake taste divine but it looks so very pretty too! There are a few optional elements to this recipe: firstly, Charlotte recommend's peeling the pistachio nuts to reveal their bright greenness within. This is a dull job but the extra effort is rewarded. Secondly, add a little green food colouring to the cake mix as we eat with our eyes and the natural brown shade of this cake does not say ‘pistachio’ as much as the green sponge does.
340g unsalted butter
340g caster sugar
6 large eggs
340g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
100g chopped pistachio nuts (shelled and peeled)
1tbsp pistachio paste (optional)
1tsp vanilla extract
green food colouring paste
Oven temp: 180°C preheated
You will need: 2x 20cm (8in) sandwich tins, lined with baking parchment
For the raspberry frosting and decoration:
250g unsalted butter
450g icing sugar
4-6tbsp best quality raspberry jam
2tbsp cream cheese
25g shelled, peeled and finely chopped pistachio nuts
- Begin by peeling the pistachio nuts. To do this, cover the nuts in boiling water from the kettle and allow to rest in a bowl for three to four minutes. The water will turn a dirty brown colour and, once drained, the nuts will peel easily enough when squeezed between your thumb and forefinger. It’s a laborious job but worth it for the unadulterated bright green flecks that will stud your sponge. You can skip this step and simply chop the shelled nuts.
- Cream the butter and sugar until pale and beat in the eggs one at a time until combined (you may need to add a tablespoon of your flour here and there if the mixture starts to curdle).
- Add the vanilla extract, pistachio paste and green food colouring (the last two items here are completely optional) and combine until the mixture looks even.
- Gently fold in the flour and baking powder until no lumps remain and stir through your chopped pistachio nuts.
- Divide the mixture evenly between two lined cake tins and bake for thirty-five minutes, or until risen and springy. Allow to cool for five minutes in their tins before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Cream the butter in a freestanding mixer for two to three minutes until soft.
- Add half of the icing sugar and mix until combined, then add half of the remaining icing sugar and mix again.
- Beat in the raspberry jam, adding enough to create a lovely pink frosting with a delicious hit of fruit.
- Add the cream cheese, which will lighten the mixture a little, and beat until the frosting is light and creamy.
- Remove any peaks from your sponge layers with a sharp knife and spread raspberry frosting on top of one layer before laying the second layer on top. You will have sufficient frosting to cover the sides and top of your cake if you wish.
- Decorate your beautifully pink cake with a scattering of freeze-dried raspberries and chopped pistachio nuts. Please regard the peeling of these nuts as obligatory as they will look stunning against the frosting and you will thank me.