I've always loved pistachios anyway, but you know how it is when you develop a fascination for something foodie, you've just got to find some way of making something with it, right?. For me that usually ends up with baking, since I've got a real weakness for anything sweet and baked! How could I resist?..............they're just so enticing!
And..............even better, they're good for you too; in a nutshell, Pennsylvania State University has found in research that pistachios significantly reduced levels of 'bad' cholesterol, and also concluded that pistachios may calm acute stress reaction! Sounds good to me!
So, if you're feeling a little worse for wear, bake yourself some pistachio cake, sit down with a cup of coffee and..........relax!
fragrant pistachio, cardamom & lime cake
150g unsalted pistachios
half a teaspoon ground cardamom
zest of 1 lime
150g unsalted butter
200g self-raising flour
200g caster sugar
125g plain yoghurt
juice of 1 lime
Pre-heat your oven to 180C / 350F / gas 4, and grease and base line a 20cm round cake tin.
Place all of the cake ingredients into a bowl and mix with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
Meanwhile, mix the lime juice and sugar together to make a lovely crunchy syrup. The type of sugar you use will determine how crunchy your topping will be. Granulated for very crunchy, and caster for a less grainy texture.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. It does tend to brown a lot so keep an eye on this! Leave in the tin to cool. Pierce the top of the cake with a skewer while it's still warm, and drizzle the lime syrup onto the cake a little at a time to allow it soak in.
To serve - top off with some thick and creamy Greek yoghurt and some more crushed pistachio nuts.