This is a simple yet rather impressive cake to make if you’re having friends over for a coffee, or if you want to take an alternative cake into work rather than the usual lemon drizzle. The pistachios and orange are a match made in heaven, coupled with the chocolate ganache drizzle and you’re bound to get that promotion you were hoping for!
I created this cake one day a few months ago for a special person who had recently lost a loved one to cancer. She wanted to thank the district nurses for all that they had done for her and her family by giving them essentially a lovely homemade cake. I felt very emotional making the cake as I use to work for a cancer charity and knew how fantastic district nurses are and how much care and support, both emotionally and physically they give their patients and the families.
Make time to make this cake – you won’t regret it.
Orange & Pistachio Cake
- 225g Butter
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 225g Self-Raising Flour
- 4 Eggs
- 50g Ground Pistachio
- Zest of 2 Oranges
- Juice 1/2 Orange
- 75ml Orange Juice
- 75g Caster Sugar
Chocolate Ganache Drizzle
- 100g Dark Chocolate
- 100ml Double Cream
- 50g Pistachios, roughly chopped
- 35g Candied Orange Peel or Mixed Peel, finely chopped
Grease and line and 8″ square, loose bottomed tin and pop to one side. Preheat the oven to 160C fan/180C/Gas Mark 4.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding in some flour towards the end to help stop the mixture curdling. Add in the ground pistachios and then the remaining flour. Stir through the orange zest and juice, making sure that the mixture is evenly combined before scraping into your prepared tin. Smooth the top of the mixture and then bake in the oven for around 45-55 minutes. Check that the mixture is cooked by inserting a skewer into the cake, if it comes out clean, then the cake is ready.
Whilst the cake is baking, make the orange drizzle so that you can use it as soon as the cake is out of the oven. Pop the orange juice and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. The sugar will dissolve and then you’ll need to leave the syrup to bubble until syrupy in texture, around 3-4 minutes should be more than enough. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
When the cake is baked, remove from the oven, and still in it’s tin, poke a couple of holes into the cake using a skewer or a cocktail stick, then drizzle or spoon the orange syrup all over the surface of the cake, letting the syrup absorb into the cake. Once you’ve drizzled over all the syrup, leave the cake to cool completely before removing from the tin.
Once the cake has cooled, remove from the tin and pop onto a plate, ready to be decorated. To make the ganache, break the chocolate into chunks and place in a bowl which is over a saucepan of simmering water. Let the chocolate start to melt before adding the cream and stirring until you have a smooth glossy ganache. The ganache won’t take long, so don’t be tempted to go off and do something else! Remove the bowl from the saucepan and leave to cool slightly before drizzling over the cake. I popped my ganache into a piping bag and took my time to drizzle nice even lines, diagonally across the cake.
To finish, decorate the top of the cake with some chopped toasted pistachios and chopped candied orange peel – I didn’t add these to my cake, but I think it would finish the cake of beautifully. A delicious cake to have mid-morning with a coffee.