I have mentioned this beautiful book to you several times. By now you may be tired of my mentioning the Rose Bakery Cookbook but I will never tire of flipping through those thick, lush pages. Nor will the recipes, so painstakingly cornered for a Parisian Bakery which has gone so far beyond baguettes, croissant, and macaroons ever be tiresome for me to test or repeat. It has carved a path for itself Rose Bakery, and in so doing, a niche of food and spectacular sleeper recipes. The idea is that you probably will not have considered many of these recipes the way Rose creates them: But if you are like me, you might wonder why you never thought all those quick bread recipes might come to something like this cake.
I easily make use of two pounds of nuts in a week. I hide them everywhere I can, along with fish and avocados (not necessarily together) and consequently, I thought I knew every variation on nut-sneaking there was. Not so at all. Herewith, is the most devilish and masterful nut and almond sneak of all time.
Everyone who came in contact with this cake adored it, even though, butter not withstanding, it is largely healthy. And in spite of the fact that the icing is so obviously full of pistachios, which at least one of us claimed they absolutely did not care for and would never touch. Never. Never. Never.
Good? Yes, and I wish some remained.
adapted from Rose Bakery: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery, Rose Carrarini (Phaidon)
Rose's recipe called for 2 sticks/ 1 cup of butter, and honestly, I could not bear the thought of it. The 3/4 is fine, the whole cup is luxurious. I also tried it with the 1/4 cup replaced by the same amount of pistachio oil: Good for you, but it did not light my world on fire.
3/4 cup butter (1 and 1/2 sticks) plus more for the pan, softened
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup ground pistachios
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
For the topping:
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped and dry toasted on the stove top
1/4 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter one standard loaf pan or 8" cake round, then line with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Set aside.
With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until they are light and creamy. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Now add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Now fold in the ground almonds, pistachios, flour, baking powder and salt.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool 10 minutes in the pan, flip it out, and allow it to cool then to room temperature.
To make the topping, gently heat the pistachios, sugar, and lemon zest together in a sauce pan over low heat, once the sugar is dissolved, pour the mixture over the cake and allow it to set while it cools.