There’s Also Brown Butter. Need I Say More?
I’ve been wanting to make a pistachio cake for awhile. None of the recipes I could find were exactly what I had in mind, so once again, I came up with my own and it’s a beauty. First and foremost, I wanted it to be full of pistachios. 1 1/2 cups did the trick. I also wanted it to contain olive oil because I love both the flavor and the texture. But I also thought some brown butter would enhance the pistachio flavor, so I used both. Why not? Right?
I chose to add some orange zest, orange blossom water, and orange oil to the cake. I’m always careful with orange blossom water. Too much and it can taste awful. Too little and it’s not at all discernible. I wanted just enough to be able to faintly taste the floral notes. I started with half a teaspoon and decided it needed another half teaspoon. The full teaspoon ended up being perfect. A teaspoon of vanilla rounded it out nicely.
As to the spices, I wanted plenty of cardamom, but felt it needed the balance of a little cinnamon. I was hoping all this would work well together in the end.
Before I ever begin baking a bundt cake I prep my pan. I spray it liberally with Baker’s Joy and dust it with almond flour. I never have any problem with it sticking. It releases from the pan easily. And the almond flour leaves a tasty fine coat of baked crumbs. The only time I change it up is if I’m making a chocolate cake and then I dust the pan with cocoa.
After the cake baked, I let it cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan and glazing it.
At a friend’s suggestion, I first made the sugar crackle glaze from David Lebovitz’s blog a couple years ago and it immediately became my favorite. I greatly prefer it to thick glazes. It contains granulated sugar, which never fully dissolves and it dries to a crunchy crackly finish. There’s plenty of citrus juice in it, so it’s sweet/tart and is the perfect counterpoint to my rich and nut filled cake.
The end result is a beautifully moist, warmly spiced, but vibrantly flavored cake. It’s exactly what I was hoping for when I set out to make it. Yep, I’m happy. Very happy.