Wednesday, 17 February 2016
Pistachio and Cranberry Loaf Cake
The recipe wasn't perfect and there are things I would change next time, but I thought I'd get the praise in first, as the nitpicking doesn't detract from what a great cake it was. I didn't realise when I decided to make the cake, that it was a recipe from Honey & Co, who specialise in Middle Eastern cooking. I can't find the recipe anywhere online - although if you have a subscription to the online Financial Times, I believe it was published there - but there is a book 'Honey & Co: The Baking Book', which is now on my 'must have' list, even if it doesn't contain this particular recipe!
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
5 cardamom pods - ground to a powder with the pods
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
100g whole pistachios, peeled
150g dried cranberries
zest of 2 limes
150g caster sugar (the recipe specified golden)
2 eggs (I used large)
100g jam (the recipe specified a red jam such as raspberry or cherry)
the juice of 1 lime
about a tablespoon of demerara sugar to sprinkle on top (I used crushed raw sugar cubes)
The cake is made by the traditional method of creaming the softened butter and sugar together, with the lime zest and vanilla, then slowly adding the eggs. All other dry ingredients are added to the flour, then folded into the batter, then finally the juice of the lime and the jam is folded in. After the batter is levelled in the baking tin, the surface is scattered with demerara sugar, then the cake is baked at 160C in a large (1kg/2lb) loaf tin, for about 60 minutes, turning halfway through cooking so that it bakes evenly. Cool in the tin.
The cake was a little crumbly the first day it was made, but settled down overnight to something a bit firmer. The extra lime juice might have made it a bit less inclined to crumble, and a little more moist - the slight dryness is the only criticism I have (apart from the lack of clarity over the baking temperature).