Monday, March 15, 2010

Sicilian Pistachio Cake

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 65:  Sicilian Pistachio Cake

I didn't intend to bake this cake because i was tired after baking and decorating the Alice in Wonderland Cake on Saturday.  However, after reading what great reviews by fellow HCB's Mendy, Monica, Vicki & Marie had of this cake, i just knew i had to bake it even if it means baking after work.  

So i got home after work around 8pm and got ready all my ingredients by 830pm. I had to blanched pistachios since i can't find already blanched ones.  Since i had only limited time before bedtime, i did the shortcut way, ie, i microwaved the pistachios in water for 1 min and transferred to a bowl of cold water and removed all the skin quite quickly. :)  Yup, only 1min in microwave and the water was really hot and the pistachio skin peeling off. Then i continued the recipe from there....process the blanched pistachios with sugar etc...  The batter was quite easy to make and in no time it was in the oven already.  

Next was the buttercream which requires heating of the sugar syrup. I did the shortcut way again and microwaved the sugar syrup..:p  I put all the ingredients in the measuring glass then microwave it on a spurt of 30secs x 3 (stir after 30secs so the sugar will dissolve) and then after 3rd 30secs, the sugar should be all dissolved and i microwaved it for a further 1min. And by that time the sugar is all thick and ready to be added into the egg yolks.   I like how the yolk sugar mixture thickens after it cool down. :)   I didn't have pistachio essence, so i added pistachio paste i had in the fridge.

I was a bit alarmed when i saw my cake domed quite badly in the oven and i did put on the cake strip you know. However the dome subsided a fair bit (it's still there, you can see above photo) after cooling so it wasn't that bad anymore.  I blasted a fan to cool the cake down so i can quickly frost the cake asap. :S  I have never frosted & decorated a cake so quickly before..but for this, i did it in like 5mins or less and I'm at amazed at myself too..hahaha..not my best but i think not too bad for last min job.  By the time i'm done it was still slightly before 12am..:)

Oh..and i forgot to add that the nuts on top are toasted pistachio nuts since i ran out of blanched nuts, i decided to just toast it instead of having to blanched again (er..i blanched only 1/2 packet of nuts earlier since i was only testing if blanching works in microwave..). Quite good cos it gives the crunchy effect when eaten with the cake. lol!  And i suspect that my cake domed a little in the centre because i didn't dry the blanched nuts enough while i processed it with sugar. :S 

VERDICT:  Normally i don't eat supper at all, for this post i just had to sacrifice my waistline a bit to taste it so i can write what i think about this cake right? I took a slice and oh my, it was without doubt, DELICIOUS! No wonder Marie said she couldn't stop eating the cake and took 3 slices! LOL! My daughter, my husband and even my domestic helper all took a slice (they all don't eat supper too!) and they all loved it - said the pistachio blends very well in the butter cake, paired with the buttercream it was pure heavenly! :)  I didn't regret baking it but i think i would very much have regretted if i didn't bake it...yes, it is that good!   

PS: Since i'm typing this at 1235am, half asleep already, i think what i just wrote made sense..if not, it'll be corrected the next day when i'm more! And i'm really quite tired of my flowery plates..always using the same plate to take photo..


Hanaâ on March 16, 2010 at 1:03 AM said...

Beautiful, Faithy! I'm glad it tasted good too. Staying up until midnight to bake and frost a cake! Now THAT is what I call dedication! :o) I would neeeeeever do THAT, ha ha (riiiiight!). Good night!!

Sinful Southern Sweets on March 16, 2010 at 1:23 AM said...

Beautiful!!! I think it looks fabulous!

Virginia Taylors on March 16, 2010 at 1:27 AM said...

Amazing decorations. Thanks for all the quick hints. You are a truly dedicated baker!

Jenn on March 16, 2010 at 1:48 AM said...

Faithy, you are so funny. And dedicated! The latest I've made a cake is 9.30 pm (on a Friday night) - and I told myself I'd never do it again :). Great job with the cake. Looks so beautiful. I wonder what time you have to get up to get to work - if you don't sleep until midnight over there.

Vicki on March 16, 2010 at 2:31 AM said...

Faithy, it looks so pretty. I can't believe you blanched and skinned those pistachios so quickly. Very good tip. So you don't eat supper as in an evening meal at all? That's your secret for staying thin with all this baking? You have nerves of steel!

evil cake lady on March 16, 2010 at 3:17 AM said...

Beautifully decorated cake, and you did it in a hurry? WOW. Thanks for all the short cut tips, especially about blanching the nuts! If I ever make this cake, I will remember the microwave. Get some sleep!

doughadear on March 16, 2010 at 5:53 AM said...

Hello Faithy
I'm looking at your beautifully decorated cake and I am totally in awe of how quickly you put it all together. This would have taken me a good part of the day to complete. I really need to learn how to pipe decoration. See my Polka Dot Cake Post.

Monica on March 16, 2010 at 5:56 AM said...

Faithy... I love the short cuts! I thought about using the microwave to do the sugar, but I chicken out!

And thank you that I was part of the inspiration to get you moving and baking that late at night... Like Hanaa, I would neeever do that either! Deep down I'm so lazy its scary I get out of bed in the morning.... oh wait, its coming back ... the only reason i do that is so I can work and I can afford to buy pistachios!

Your cake looks awesome even at the speed that you made it at.

faithy on March 16, 2010 at 9:50 AM said...

Thank you ladies for all your sweet & lovely comments! :)

@Jenn: My normal sleeping time around midnight or sometimes later. I wake up at 8am and out of the house by 830am to be at office by 9am. :D

@Vicki: Wait..what i mean supper = after dinner. Cos i read in UK, supper = dinner. Yup, no heavy food after 930pm except fruits. I find it quite uncomfortable to sleep with a full tummy. It's more of a habit i think.

@Monica: LOL! You made me laugh out so loudly! :) My reason for working is the same as yours! LOL!

ann low on March 16, 2010 at 10:22 AM said...

This Pistachio cake looks gorgeous! I don't mind to have one slice before my sleep. *-*

Unknown on March 16, 2010 at 7:10 PM said...

I love how this looks, and the flavors are yum yum.It is hard to believe this was done in a hurry it looks perfect. Would love a piece.
Thanks for all the tips.

Khadija El Mary on March 16, 2010 at 11:10 PM said...

I love your cakes and the way you decorate them. They look so perfect!
I wish I could have a slice right now!

ARUNA on March 17, 2010 at 12:23 AM said...

This looks awesome n super delicious!

Barbara Bakes on March 18, 2010 at 11:28 AM said...

I'm so impressed you baked this beautiful cake so late. I'm not a night owl at all. I probably would have really messed it up.

NancyB on March 23, 2010 at 10:34 AM said...

Beautiful cake, and how I admire all your shortcuts. (And that they worked!)


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