From the back of the book, you learn that Roger Pizey is a renowned baker and patissier. His experiences in Great Britain, in top restaurants and television food shows, have given him eminent skills.
But as you turn the pages of World Class Cakes, his latest book, none of that matters. All that you will care about is how quickly you can get to baking yourself.
Tomorrow, I’ll post an overview of this powerfully packed book with recipes that are, truly, from around the world. In a tribute to Turkish ingredients, Roger has created this cake filled with lemon flavor and pistachio crunch. The cake is spectacularly beautiful. As you turn pages of World Class Cakes, you’ll stop on many pages, but this one captured my attention and Suzen’s. She likes lemons, but pistachios are a passion for her.
Roger is British. So the temperature and dimensions you’ll see below may not match your oven settings or the cake rounds on your shelf. We did 325°F and a 7-inch round. No problem.
Pistachio and Lemon Cake
Yield: serves 8
- ½ cup superfine sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 lemon sliced
- 1 lime, sliced
- ½ cup [1 stick] utter, soft
- ¾ cup superfine sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup good quality pistachios, chopped
- Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Preheat the oven to 310°F, and grease and line a 6 ¼ inch round and 2 1/ inch deep cake pan with parchment paper.
Make a sugar syrup by heat the ½ cup super fine sugar and ½ cup of water in a pan. Cook over low heat until clear, stirring continuously, then boil for a minute or so. Pass the liquid through a strainer. Removed from the heat and let cool.
Place lemon and the lime slices and sugar syrup in a pan and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, and add the eggs on at a time.
Sift in the flour, salt, and baking powder, then add two-thirds of the pistachios, the lemon and lime zests, and the lemon juice. Mix well.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, place the fruit slices on top and sprinkle over the remaining pistachios. Bake in a preheated oven 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clear.
Removed from the oven and let cool for 15minutes in the pan. Then turn the cake out onto a wire rack and strip off the parchment.
Ideally, serve with a glass of aromatic Turkish tea.
Source: World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey
Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/2.8 for 1/25th second at ISO-3200
Buttermilk by Debbie Moose expounds the wonderful array of flavors that can be spiked with the bright tang of buttermilk. Here’s her recipe for pound cake, now boosted with buttermilk flavor. You can eat this on its own, put a lemon or vanilla icing on top, or do what we did: adorn with fresh fruit. The texture — soft yet deep and fulfilling — gives any meal an ending of substance.
This cake is easily made and is a wonderful way to induce your children or grandchildren to help in the kitchen. Getting them to add the flour and buttermilk by thirds will give them a kitchen mission that truly makes them feel important. A couple of hours later, when they bite away, you can applaud their culinary mathematics.
We made this cake for our grandchildren in Austin. They did not have a 10-inch tube pan so we divided the batter into two 9-inch cake rounds. The baking time went from an hour to around 40 minutes. The cakes were superb when topped with some fresh fruit, sliced and sweeted with just a little sugar. Ice cream or whipped cream could have been added. But, honestly, we did not want to detract from the great buttermilk flavor.
Jan’s Buttermilk Pound Cake
Yield: 20 servings
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 extra-large eggs or 6 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare a 10-inch tube pan by coating the inner surface with non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil and dusting with flour
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high speed until creamy and pale, about 5 minutes. Break the eggs into a small bowl and whisk gently to beak the yolks. Add the eggs to the butter mixture in two additions, beating well after each and scraping the sides of the bowl between beatings.
In a medium blow, whisk tougher the baking soda, salt and flour. On medium speed, beat 1/3 of the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture. Stop the mixer and add half of the buttermilk. Turn the mixer on low to prevent spatters and bear for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add another 1/3 of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk, the vanilla, and the rest of the flour mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl periodically to incorporate all the ingredients. The batter will be thick.
Scrape the batter into the prepared tube pan and rap the bottom of the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 1 hour or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. The cake make crack on top, but this is ok.
Source: Buttermilk by Debbie Moose, a Savor the South cookbook from the University of North Carolina Press
Photo Information: iPad