This Saturday I took part in a “Bake Together” contest on Chef at Large. The contest was inspired by a Cake that A had baked. The subsequent collective gasps of appreciations made her create this contest where all bakers and non bakers (like me) were invited to Bake a beautiful decadent Pistachio Cake with a Neo classic Butter cream.
The cake looked easy but the Butter cream gave me the shivers because I have never made frosting before. Infact I don’t even like it and very rarely do I eat cakes that have frosting. So I was really lost at what to do.
I revealed my fears to M, who had encouraged me to bake my first Muffins and being a sweetheart that she is. She gave me an easy Honey Butter cream recipe for the frosting which she promised was easy and divine. So I decided to give it a try. After all what was at stake besides from the fact that my amateurish skills of trying to be a baker.
Once I started to bake I started to get into the grove and realised how easy it was to Bake the cake and frosting. So I decided to blog about it to encourage others like me who are as scared of baking to atleast give the recipe a try.
You don’t have to make the frosting if you do not want to but it does give the cake a beautiful layer and tastes delicious even if I may say so.
Here is my take on the recipe which I have tweaked to bring out the taste of the Pistachios.
2 large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup, divided, sour cream (you can use hung curd instead of Sour cream if you wish)
1/2 teaspoon pure Vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond essence
1/2 cup Pistachios
1 cup caster Sugar
2 cups cake Flour (I could not find Cake flour so used 2 cups Plain flour minus 1 Tbsp and then added 1 Tbsp Cornflour to it)
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
12 tablespoons unsalted Butter, room temperature
Roast the Pistachios on a low flame in a non stick pan. Blitz them in a grinder just once to get nice chunky pieces. You can grind them into a fine paste but I wanted to have the bite of Pistachios in my cake.
Coat the baking pan with Butter and line it with non stick baking paper and keep it aside while you get the Cake batter ready. Also ensure that you preheat the over at around 175°C.
In a bowl add the Eggs, 3 Tbsps Sour Cream, Vanilla Extract and Almond Essence and whisk gently till all the ingredients have combined together.
Keep it aside till you get the other ingredients ready.
In another bowl add all the dry ingredients Flour, Sugar, baking powder, baking Soda, Salt and Pistachios and mix them gently.
Add the butter and the remaining sour cream. Mix using an electric beater on a low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. The mix will start looking like a Cookie dough mixture.
Start adding the egg mixture gradually to the flour, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. The batter does not look the normal Cake mixture so don’t get scared. Add a dash of milk if you think the dough is too hard.
Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a spatula.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes till cooked. Test with a skewer to ensure the cake is baked well. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and the unmould and let the Cake cool completely. You can serve the cake the way it is with a Dollop of Cream sprinkled with some blanched Pistachios or you can make the Butter cream frosting.
Honey Butter Cream frosting
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of honey
In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add milk and cream to the saucepan and cook it over medium heat, whisking initially to combine and then every few minutes as it comes to a boil. After about 10-15 minutes it will have thickened to a glue-like consistency.
Pull it off the heat and transfer into a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment (I just transferred it to a normal bowl and used an electric beater)
Beat on high speed until the outside of the bowl is cool to touch. This takes about 7-9 minutes.
Reduce the speed to low and add the butter gradually. Ensure it is fully mixed in and then bring the speed up to medium-high and mix until the frosting goes fluffy and light.
Add the vanilla and honey to the frosting and mix until uniform.
When the cake is completely cool, spread a little butter cream on top of the Cake. Coat the top and sides with the slivered or chopped pistachios. Put the cake in the fridge so the icing can set before you serve.
A told me that the original Neoclassic Butter cream makes the taste even better. Maybe I should try that the next time eh !!!