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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Perfectly Pale Green Pistachio Pound Cake

I've been waiting for an excuse to make this wonderful cake. I've had some pistachios left over from a previous baking adventure and had decided that they would be perfect in a pound cake. I've made this particular cake before plain and have used pecans in it as well (I love it with pecans, yum) and decided that it was time to try it out with pistachios. I was hoping they would lend great taste as well as a nifty color to the pound cake. Traditionally pound cake recipes are just that, a pound of butter, a pound of eggs, a pound of flour and a pound of sugar. I've never tried that particular recipe, I think I shall someday soon. Anyway, my excuse to make this comes in the form of getting to meet some of my husband's friends this weekend. They will be joining us for some tea and conversation this Saturday and I will be making a few nice things for us to nosh on. This is one of them:

Pistachio Pound Cake: Makes one 9" cake round or two 7x3" bread pans or one bundt pan (method is important in the making of this pound cake, as there is no chemical leavener used. The creaming of the butter, and beating in of the eggs will help to give the cake rise)

8 ounces (one cup or two sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
12 ounces sugar
optional: one drop of green food coloring (usually I hate to add food coloring to baked things, but I admit that I cheated and added a drop to this)
5 eggs at room temperature
6 ounces all-purpose flour, sifted with the pinch of salt
pinch of salt
1 cup finely ground pistachios (I toast the pistachios at 350f for about 10 minutes and then let them cool before grinding them)
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (or you can use the same amount of vanilla extract)
1 cup whole pistachios
-Preheat the oven to 325f. Prepare your baking pan of choice with butter and flour.
-Cream together the butter and sugar (and the drop of food coloring if you are using it) until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
-Add the first four eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition, reserve the fifth egg. Add the vanilla and blend in.
- Add the flour and salt mixture and the ground pistachios and mix on low speed until the flour has just started to disappear.
-Add the fifth egg and mix to incorporate.
-Fold in the whole pistachios.
-Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed with a finger.
-Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then invert and finish cooling on a rack. Serve alone or with whipped cream or a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

This cake does freeze fairly well. Just wrap it up snug in some saran wrap and freeze it for no more than 2 weeks(you could freeze it longer,but the quality will diminish as it does for most baked goods that are frozen).

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Mel said...

YUM! I think I'm going to have to try and make this! :D

Jen the Bread Freak said...

I hope you like it, Mel! My favorite part is the top crust. It's got that crunch and then it's chewy. Yum.

Jennifer said...

Yum! I love pistachios... This recipe sounds great.h

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Pistachios in pound cake sounds wonderful! What a great idea. I'll take mine with ice cream, please. :-)

Elle said...

What a beautiful color green that pound cake is. Hope you daved me a piece :)

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Lynn: Oh, I suppose I can make some vanilla ice cream....hehehheh, actually, just got the ice cream maker for my july birthday, so I'm more than happy to whip up some ice cream! Yum! :D

Elle: Thank you! I do hate to admit that I used a little food coloring in it, but I figured a little can't hurt, right? I have a piece saved for you ;)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Jen, it looks really perfect! I wish I could have a bite!

BetterCell said...

Happy (Belated) Birthday Jen.
I think that breads taste better without sourdough. The sourdough breads became popular from their introduction in Northern California.....and has unfortunately stayed.
I also think that by incorporating more egg yolks and less whole eggs into your "delicious"(I can tell) pistachio pound cake it would have given you a better color(yellow) for the pistachios to set against rather than the artificial green coloring that is totally unnecessary.

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Patricia: Thank you very much, it really is tasty stuff!

Bettercell: Thank you for the belated birthday wishes :). As for sourdough, I quite like the flavor of it, always have. I suppose it's really a matter of opinion. The food coloring really was unnecessary in the pound cake (which is why it is listed as optional), I just wanted to play around a little bit to see how small of an amount would change the color. I'd rather just forgo food coloring (unless I'm decorating a cake) for most baked products. I think upping the amount of yolks and reducing the amount of whites in this recipe just for the sake of color might make the pound cake a bit heavier than I would like, but again, that's experimentation and opinion.

DaviMack said...

Regarding dislike of sourdough: I've never found anybody who disliked my raisin or fruit breads, unless they didn't like nuts or what have you, and I always use sourdough - for everything. The "California" or "San Francisco" sourdough flavor ... probably comes from Vinegar, or from a sourdough which has been allowed to go excessively sour.

The reason behind sourdough - growing your own yeasts & things, because historically there was no such thing as commercial yeast - is still a valid reason. Also, in some breads (rye, or other low-acid flour breads) you MUST use a sourdough, or you're simply not going to have the rise that you're looking for.

It's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of not having had the good stuff, I'd say. But that's just me, and I tend to be overly opinionated, and probably shouldn't be so on other people's blogs. I apologize.

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Thank you, Davimack. Opinions are always welcome. I wasn't going to go into the history of bread or how yeast leavened breads started out in Egypt ages and ages ago and that San Francisco sourdough is just one variation (cause by the local lactobacillus) of a method of making bread that that came over to the U.S with people from faraway lands that had been using this method forever.