Sometimes, gluten-free versions of beloved desserts just don't measure up to the original. This cake doesn't try to; it's an original. The Ginger & White Cookbook blends Middle Eastern flavors like pistachio and rosewater with a touch of Italian (almonds and lemon zest) to craft this nutty loaf. It was developed when author Tonia George's daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Whether you make a conscious effort to avoid gluten, or just love pistachios, this cake is a winner.
Why this recipe works:
- Those aren't just chopped nuts sprinkled on top. A mixture of sugar, rosewater and lemon forms a syrup to which the pistachios are added, then poured over. It sinks in and infuses the cake with citrus and floral notes.
- The cake keeps rather well wrapped in wax paper; especially if syrupy-sweet slices are your cup of tea. Which would actually be a perfect pairing.
Excerpted from The Ginger & White Cookbook by Tonia George, Emma Scott & Nicholas Scott (Mitchell Beazley). Copyright (c)2014 . Photographs by Jenny Zarins.
- Yield:Serves 8-10
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 30 minutes
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 4 free-range eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup ground pistachios
- 1/4 cup gluten-free, all-purpose flour
- Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
- For the Topping:
- 1/3 cup superfine sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 drop of rosewater
- 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
Preheat the oven to 360ºF. Lightly grease a 2-lb. bread pan and line the base with nonstick parchment paper.
Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating in each addition until fully incorporated. Stir in all of the ground nuts, the flour, and lemon zest.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to cool in the pan.
Meanwhile, make the topping. Heat the sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. When the sugar has totally dissolved, stir in the rosewater and pistachios, then pour the mixture evenly over the cake. Leave to cool completely, then turn out of the pan, cut into slices, and serve.