Thursday, 15 May 2014

Apple and Pistachio Cake, with Elderflower Drizzle

As a break from cheap chocolate cakes for the We Should Cocoa challenge, I decided to tackle this month's AlphaBakes challenge. We're on the second run through the alphabet now, and this month's randomly chosen letter is E. I'd already decided that I would bake with Elderflower flavour, so imagine my delight at finding the first elderflowers out this morning, just in time to add to the photographs of the cake. I'd looked in my usual patch yesterday and they were still in bud, but this morning I passed an elder tree in a sunnier position, and the first bunches were open!

While I was looking for inspiration for flavours to pair with elderflower, I came across apple and elderflower yogurt in the supermarket, and a recipe for a pistachio, yogurt and elderflower cake from Jamie Oliver. Although the cake looked delicious, I didn't want anything quite so elaborate, but I liked the idea of using apples and pistachio nuts with the elderflower flavour.

I decided that I didn't want the contrasting textures of chopped nuts and chunks of apples, just their flavours, so I grated the apples and ground the nuts, so that the cake would have an uniform texture. I based the cake on this recipe for an apple cake using grated apple, substituting 50g of the flour with ground pistachio nuts and using golden caster sugar instead of brown. I also used about a tablespoon of elderflower cordial instead of milk to get a soft batter. I kept the peel on the apples - two small red eating apples - in the hope that the flecks of pink would show in the finished cake, but any visible peel seemed to have turned green on cooking! When the cake was cooked, I pricked the top all over with a cocktail stick and drizzled on 4 tablespoons (60mls) of elderflower cordial before leaving it to cool.

Although all the flavours were very subtle, the cake was delicious, and much lighter than I'd expected after the addition of grated apple. It might have been better to follow the example in JO's recipe, and use more cordial, reduced down to a syrup, but after a week of costing out cake recipes I was very conscious of how expensive elderflower cordial is!

AlphaBakes (rules here) is a challenge based on a randomly chosen letter of the alphabet. The dish made must feature something beginning with that letter as one of the main ingredients or part of the name. It is hosted jointly by Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline at Caroline MakesRos is this month's host with the letter E, and will feature a round-up of entries at the end of the month.


Laura Denman said...

Mmmm, sounds lovely and that slice looks deliciously soft nd moist =)

snowy said...

Lovely flavours, and a delicious looking cake. Our local elderflowers aren't fully out yet.

Baking Addict said...

I've made Jamie's recipe previously and it was good so I can just imagine how delicious your cake is. I like the flavour combinations and that you kept the same texture of the ingredients for the cake. Great photo with the elderflower too! Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.