Pistachios, freshly roasted and grounded, intensify the buttery taste of this beautiful Bundt cake. The golden crust contrasts with the lemon glaze, and together with blitzed pistachio toppings make this a special nutty treat.
Bundt cakes are more popular in Continental Europe and the US than in Britain. The' Bundt " cake has its root from Germany but became popular in US in the 1960s. A Bundt cake pan has a tube in the middle like a chimney which means more cake mixture is left to touch the side of the pan, allowing a deeper cake without worrying about sinking or the cake centre being uncooked.
Not all cake recipes can be made successfully in a Bundt pan. The principle of making an airy and light sponge cake applies but the cake batter must be stiffer to ensure it gets into every nudge and groove of the pan. Ground nut comes to play an important part in my recipe which I've adapted from a classic pound cake. Ground and roasted pistachio stiffen the cake mixture while giving a heavenly nutty and buttery flavour to the cake.
I have tried both ready roasted ground Pistachio and freshly roasted version. The difference in the taste is significant. I bought shelled whole raw pistachio, pan-roasted them until fragrant and then ground them in food processor. Be sure to blitz the nuts to fine powder that sticks together in a pinch. This option gives the cake more a buttery, nutty and slightly more salty cake. So stick to the salt measurement.
Bundt pan options.
There are so many designs and a couple of material options to consider. Silicone or Aluminum? Both works but aluminium gives a browner and crustier cake I found. The most well know name is Nordic Ware which is widely available in the UK. A silicone pan is much cheaper and comes in different colours and sizes. I bought silicone Bundt pans for individual small cakes. (Check out my Nutella cake page)
Preparing the pan for easy releases
This is the most important step in making a bundt cake as it is just heart breaking when the cake sticks to the pan and is ruined especially when it is so delicious. Taking a few steps to grease a bundt pan is key even though most pans now come with a non-stick coating.
First, grease the pan after the cake mixture is ready. If you do it long in advance, the grease will start dropping down leaving the top of the pan uncoated. Which fat works best? Melted shortening gives the best result I found. It is colourless with zero milk content. To grease a Bundt pan, it is necessary to use a pastry brush to get into every nook and cranny.
Next, dust the pan with either flour or ground nuts. If you use a simple Bundt pan, dusting with some flour works perfectly. Just add a couple of spoons of plain flour on the greased pan and roll it around. To dust a fancy Bundt pan that has lots of narrow nook and cranny, I use ground almond as it lands right back on the cake in the heat which you can brush off after releasing to show of the amazing design of your pan.
A simple lemon white glaze compliments the cake beautifully. It is important to get its consistency correct, not too thin or it will run all the down the side of the cake, not too thick that it will just sit on the top without drooping. To achive the " lava" consisitency, do a spoon dipping test. Dip a spoon into the glaze, if you leave a line after wiping the middle of the spoon with a finger, it is perfect.
For the cake
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
130g Shelled pistachio roasted
250g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tbsp lemon zest
3 large eggs at room temperature
For the glaze
227g icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2-3 tbsp cold water ( add one at a time and do the testing as discussed above)
Preheat oven to 180 degree C.
Roast pistachio on a non stick pan until fragrant and leave to cool slightly before blitzing them finely in a food processor
Beat butter and sugar on a medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add pistachios, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat well.
Add eggs, one at a time, beat well after each addition.
Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and fold it gently in the cake mixture using a large metal spoon. Don't over mix. Once the flour is incorporated, stop mixing. The mixture should be thick and quite stiff.
Spoon the mixture in a prepared Bundt pan (see tips above).Tap the pan gently to level the top.
Bake for 55 -60 minutes. Leave the pan to cool on the wire rack for 20 minutes before inverting onto a small round cardboard on a wire rack. ( This helps you sliding the cake on a plate after glazing).
Leave the cake to cool completely ,at least a couple of hours before glazing.
Pistachio nuts are not only tasty and fun to eat but also super healthy. These edible seeds of the Pistacia vera tree contain healthy fats and are a good source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. What's more, they contain several essential nutrients and can aid weight loss and heart and gut health.
100g of pistachio gives 20g protein