Monday, November 17, 2008

A little bit spicy...

I made this cake for my gorgeous friend Voula's birthday.  It suited her - it's a little unusual, it's sweet, spicy, nutty and it's sophisticated.  As we ate it, someone commented "This is chocolate cake for grown-ups".  Indeed.

Chocolate, Apricot and Pistachio Cake by Tobie Puttock

100g pistachios 
100g slivered almonds
165g butter, unsalted
100g castor sugar
4 eggs, separated
100g dried apricots, chopped
150g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
pinch sea salt

for icing (my own addition):
100g dark chocolate
50g butter, unsalted
small handful extra pistachios

Preheat oven to 190C and grease and line a 25cm spring-form tin with baking paper.

In a food processor, whiz 2/3 of nuts until finely ground.  Roughly chop remaining nuts by hand and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy and pale.  Add egg yolks one at a time, then sir in nuts, apricots, chocolate, cardamon and vanilla seeds.

Whisk egg whites with salt until stiff peaks form.  First, gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cake mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites.  Pour into cake tin and bake for 45 -50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

For icing:

Melt chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  Add butter and allow to melt while regularly stirring.  When combined, spread over cooled cake with a knife dipped on hot water to create a smooth, shiny coating of chocolate.  Sprinkle over extra pistachios which have been lightly crushed with the side of a knife to expose their beautiful green colour.

Put candles on for the beautiful birthday girl or just serve as is! 


Paraskevi said...

mmmm - grown up cake was absolutely yummy - do you listen to music while you bake - I tend to - do you?

Bowling Ball said...

Is Toby Puttock the muppet-like one from that Fifteen/ Jamie Olvier show? Cake looks great!

cottonsocks said...

yes indeed - music very good for baking!

And yes, Tobie Puttock is the one with mop of curly hair. My Mum thinks he's hot!!