The weekend was rather ghastly, with its dark, moody clouds and the endless pitter-patter of raindrops tapping at the window. To make matters rather more amusing, this cake took six attempts to perfect. The first, I accidentally dropped out of the pan, the second, Djamo dropped out of the pan and, if Lucy had extendable thumbs, she may well have dropped the pan too (if only to help clean up). Finally, after much patience (six attempts!) and slight adjustments to the recipe, this cake came out whole and wonderful.
In essence, this cake is more like a love cake to me, more than rosewater, chocolates and strawberries and anything else that is usually associated with that specific emotion could possibly be. Don’t get me wrong, being of oriental origin, I am very much passionate about the use of rosewater and I herald it as one of the most romantic alchemic concoctions man ever made. And strawberries, well, I’ll never say no to strawberries if they are offered as a romantic gesture (in all honesty, I would eat any strawberries I found in front of me regardless of gesture). But, this cake is rather personal to me, a cake that incorporates many of things I associate with Djamo. His passion for pistachios, his love of sea salt and olive oil, his adoration of refreshing flavours- lets not forget how he loves his white chocolate.
For a while, I wondered how to incorporate freshness into the cake. Did I want mint? Djamo fell in love with the freshly made mint-lemonade we can easily find on every street corner back home. But then, he’d always speaks to me of his time in Amalfi, when he’d ventured through extensive groves full of lemons, completely in awe at the beauty that surrounded him and the incredible sheer size of this fruit! So when, in our local market there was a chance of buying some of these incredible citrus fruits, I could not refuse.
Amalfi Lemon + Pistachio Olive Oil Cake
Cooking time: 2 hours
Makes: 1 large bundt cake
200g ground pistachios
200g plain flour
300g caster sugar
1/2tsp sea salt
2tsp baking powder
150ml extra virgin olive oil,
2tbsp amalfi lemon zest
50ml fresh amalfi lemon juice
2tbsp cointreau (optional)
100g ground almonds
1-2tbsp butter, for greasing
White Chocolate Mascarpone Glaze
50g white chocolate
100g confectionary sugar
12tbsp milk (or as much as required)
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan-assisted) 350ºF. Melt the butter and pour into the bundt tin and spread across the sides so that it is well greased. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix all the liquid ingredients together, including the lemon zest and eggs.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden and cracked on top and a skewer comes out clean (Note: check the cake 15 minutes into baking to make sure it is not burning on top- cover with aluminium foil if it is browning too quickly). Turn onto a rack and allow to cool completely.
Whilst the cake is cooling, make the mascarpone glaze. Warm the white chocolate in a saucepan over a medium heat until just melted. Pour this into a bowl along with the mascarpone and confectionary sugar. Stir to combine. Add the milk, one tablespoon at a time, until a runny glaze is formed or when the desired consistency is reached (I used 12tbsp but you may use more or less). Set aside.
When ready to serve, simply pour the glaze over the cake and serve. Eat within 3 days.
Thank you for reading.