Monday, 24 September 2012

Pistachio and Rosewater cake

"At University, 70% gets you a First. At work, 70% gets you fired".

Soooo..... I've started work!  I've officially made that transition from rock-up-to-lectures-in-pyjamas (don't ever do that) to turn-up-for-work-in-a-shirt (don't get those mixed). This is Scary Stuff. And, so far, I have discovered:

1) The tube kinda smells in the morning.

2) The tube kinda smells in the evening.

3) Coffee! I love you. We shall become best friends and I promise you will always be in my life. Earl Grey, you're not too bad either.

4) Hi Microsoft Excel! We are going to come to a good understanding over the next few years.

5) Sitting around all day is actually quite tiring (no, really!). So, last weekend, I decided to go for a run. It was a nice sunny day and I was ready to run off all those cappuccinos. As I left the flat and started jogging, I felt energised, I felt motivated, I felt totally refreshed. This was great!

For the first 30 seconds. And then I got a stitch.

And then I went home. 

And then I went on to do what I do best - baking! (Oh, and my job too, I hope.)

This cake was actually made by two of my best friends and I a while back (so photo credit for the photo above goes to one of them :) It has rosewater icing, chopped pistachios and a moist and fudgy centre and oh my now I'm hungry I want some cake...

You can tell that one of my friends is also Chinese because we chopped up the hazelnuts using a MASSIVE MEAT CLEAVER! Yeah, don't mess with us.

It's an Iranian cake from my 'A World of Cake' cookbook. Apparently 'Iranian cakes are influenced by the traditions of India, the Middle East and Europe'. It's clearly very multi-cultural then!

Tips when making pistachio and rosewater cake:
  • Rosewater is very delicate, you may need more than the recipe states especially if you really like the taste
  • When beating the egg whites, make sure the bowl is completely grease and water free
  • As the book suggests, you can vary the recipe by putting in chopped apricots and almonds
This is the cake we were trying to make... 

And this is the instagram shot of what we made!

Sorry guys, but I'm going to have to go now. I'm off to watch Suits (haven't heard of it? Where have you been??) =) Have a good week!

Pistachio-Rosewater Cake
From ‘A World of Cake’ by Krystina Castella

Serves 6-8

Pistachio Cake
200g / 7oz / 1 ½ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
225g / 8oz / 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
225g / 8oz / 1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon rosewater
1 teaspoon lime juice
6 eggs, separated
125g / 4 oz / 1 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped

Rosewater Icing
300g / 11oz / 2½ cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons rosewater
2 teaspoons lime juice

50g / ¼ chopped pistachios

To make the cake
Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cumin and allspice in a bowl and mix. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the honey, rosewater, and lime juice and mix. Blend in the egg yolk. Gradually mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture, until fully incorporated.

Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the batter, followed by the chopped pistachios.

Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake and let it cool.

To make the icing, mix the icing sugar, milk, rosewater and lime juice. When the cake is cool (and only when it’s cooled!) spread the rosewater icing over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle chopped pistachios around the edge and add a rose petal in the middle!


  1. Totally putting this on my bake list - gorgeous and yummy cake

  2. it looks perfect just like the picture and congrats on entering the workforce

  3. I love rose water in bakes. This sounds & looks delicious! Bookmarking this recipe. Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. 'A World of Cake'? Where has this book been all my life?

  5. Delicious, fragrant cake - sounds lovely. After many years I decided that Excel and I would never really come to a proper understanding. We agreed to differ and tolerate one another, but, if I see Excel coming, I pretend to see someone I know and cross the street.

  6. This cake sounds completely dreamy and it looks pretty good too. Those flavours are all favourites and I'm quite excited at the thought of putting cumin into a cake too.

    Congratulations on your job, though the commuting doesn't sound fun. Excel and I used to be good friends, but somehow, it's moved on and left me wondering how we could ever have been friends.


Like it? Love it? Hate it? Rate it! I'd love to hear what you think :)