Pistachio & Seville Orange Cake with cheesecake cream

pistacio cake    

First of all, take 250g of room temperature butter and beat it with 250g of caster sugar (like you would a basic sponge cake).

Once it is pale and fluffy, add four eggs, one at a time and whisk until it’s all combined. Next, sift in 40g of self-raising flour and give it another good whisk.

Then you need to carefully fold in 150g of ground up pistachios and 70g of ground almonds and add the zest of one Seville orange (they have a lovely bitter taste).  Once you’ve gently mixed everything together, put the mixture in a lined baking tin (23cm) and bake it for 45 minutes at 180 .

While the cake is cooling, you can make the topping.  First make a syrup with orange juice, sugar, vanilla, and a little bit of water. When the sugar melted and the syrup thick in a pan, throw in some whole pistachios and it’s ready to be used to glaze the cake.

Serve each slice with a dollop of cheesecake cream.  This is made by combining cream cheese, whipped cream, icing sugar, some vanilla pods and the zest of half a Seville orange.



Chocolate, pear and frangipane tart

chocolate pear frangipane slice 

For the pastry: Preheat the oven to 180°. You’ll only need half of the pastry to make the tart, the other half can be kept in the fridge tightly wrapped in cling film for a few days or frozen for up to a month.

Rub together the flour, butter and sugar until bread crumb consistency. Add the beaten egg and a tablespoon of water, start to combine with a knife. Keep adding a splash of water until the mix comes together into a firm ball.Cut the ball in half and gently knead and press the pastry into 2 balls.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and then line a buttered tart tin, trim the top and prick the bottom with a fork, pop into the fridge.

For the frangipane: Whisk together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then whisk in the egg. By hand gently stir in the ground almonds and cocoa powder adding a splash of milk if the mixture is too stiff.Spread the the frangipane ito the pastry case and arrange the pears on top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until the frangipane is set in the middle.Remove from the oven and drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with hazelnuts, the tart is best served at room temperature.