Pistachio, apricot and orange blossom cake

Preparation time: Cooking Time: Serves: 6 - 8

Difficulty: 3/5

Recipe by Blanche Vaughn. Here the flavours of pistachio, apricot and orange blossom are inspired by sweet Arabic dishes. The ground nuts give the cake a dense, moist texture; it also helps it keep for longer.

INGREDIENTS

250g softened unsalted butter
250g sugar
Zest of ½ orange
2 tbsp orange blossom water
4 eggs (about 250g in weight)
100g ground pistachios
100g ground almonds
50g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch fine sea salt
150g dried apricots, chopped
For the topping
50g sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp chopped whole pistachios
 


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METHOD

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3 and line a 900g loaf tin or 23cm round springform or loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
Beat the butter and sugar together using an electric stand mixer or handheld whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the orange zest and orange blossom water and mix well. Add the eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition, until completely incorporated. Add the ground nuts, flour, baking powder and salt and fold together with a metal spoon or spatula until you have a smooth batter. Finally, fold in the chopped apricots.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Test to see if the cake is done by inserting a skewer into the middle; it should come out clean.
Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out.
While the cake is cooling, make the topping. Put the sugar in a small pan with the lemon zest and juice and bring to the boil. Add the chopped pistachios and stir well. Immediately pour over the top of the cake. Let it cool a little before cutting and serving.