I made this recently for a photo shoot I had. I'd actually made it for us to eat at lunchtime but it ended up being one of the elements of the photo. Whenever I make this cake it is devoured by everyone around the table pretty quickly. It is not for those watching their waistlines but it is for those who love tea and cake! Easily adaptable to be gluten-free too. Just a note to anyone thinking of making it...it's very dense indeed and you might have to use a bit of intuition and lengthen the cooking time if it's too wobbly when the timer sounds.
Lots of lemon, pistachios and almonds make this one of the best cakes around. Paired with a cup of tea it is a religious experience.
250g unsalted butter
Tspn vanilla essence
100g ground almonds/almond flour
120g shelled pistachios
250g caster sugar
40g plain flour (I've used gluten free flour for this if you need to make it gluten free)
For the topping:
50g caster sugar
Preheat oven – 150c/gas 2
Line a loaf tin – 22 x 12cm and 6cm deep, with parchment paper
Soften the butter. Finely grate the lemon peel. Use a food processor to grind the pistachios – not too fine I find is better - you want the odd chunky bit in there.
Beat the butter ad the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the zest and vanilla, then fold in the nuts and flour.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 50-60 mins. You might have to bake it a bit longer than this - it is really quite dense and can take a while to cook.
The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean - again this might take a while! Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out.
For the topping, grate the lemon peel and squeeze the juice. (I like extra lemon and topping). Halve the pistachios. Mix the lemon juice with the sugar, boil until thick, add zest. Stir and pour over cake and decorate with some dried rose petals if you're feeling really fancy!