As good as they are on their own, or set in a slab of caramel, nuts can add a whole new dimension to a meal. This decadent vanilla cake with pistachio icing can even be enjoyed at breakfast!
- For the cake:
- 240 g flour
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/4 t bicarbonate of soda
- 150 g sugar
- 2 free-range eggs, beaten
- 1 cup Ideal milk
- 115 g butter, melted and at room temperature
- 1 T vanilla paste
- For the icing:
- 50 g sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 100 g shelled pistachios
- a pinch salt
- 1/2 cup cream
- icing sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20 cm springform cake tin. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar. Make a well in the centre.
2. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, Ideal milk, butter and vanilla. Fold the wet mixture into the flour – a thick batter will form.
3. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
4. While the cake is baking, prepare the icing. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until a maple-coloured caramel is formed. Place the pistachios on a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Pour over the caramel and allow the caramel to set.
5. Once set, chop into pieces and blend with the salt and cream until a smooth icing is formed. Serve the cake with a dollop of the pistachio icing, dusted with icing sugar.
Cook's note: Soak the leftover cake in a syrup and serve with fresh berries and crème fraîche, or more Ideal milk.
Photographs: Jan Ras
Food assistant: Marcelle De Wet