The plan was to make a cardamom, pistachio and marmalade drizzle loaf from Sarah Randell’s book “Marmalade: A bittersweet cookbook.” I had my very precious pot of homemade Seville orange marmalade next to me, ready to be used. I immediately fell in love with the picture of the cake which looked so appetising. Besides, anything that has pistachios or Seville orange marmalade written on it already has my undivided attention. And then I ended up making quite a different cake!
How did it happen, you ask?
Here’s a thing about me. Seldom do I make the recipes exactly as written and it’s not unusual for me to just start changing the ingredients. Not because it’s not perfect or delicious, don’t get me wrong. I just enjoy playing around with ingredients and methods. A recipe for me is more like a point of departure or inspiration, and if I feel like it’s got a good structure, then I like to experiment a little, to ‘massage’ it to fit my taste and my current mood. It doesn’t always work but fortunately this time it did. It was good enough for me to try and make it again the next day, with a few more tweaks to improve the texture and make it more moist.
This is a fantastically moist and crumbly pistachio cake, adorned with the silkiest chocolate glaze and beautiful looking nuts. It is elegant and slightly exotic, rich with ground pistachios and almonds, with a delicate and fragrant hint of orange zest and orange blossom water. It’s also delightfully easy to throw together. Do make sure you beat the butter and sugar well though, until it’s light and fluffy.