Pistachio Cake with Fresh Honeycomb
A dense and incredibly moist cake, with an intense roasted pistachio flavour. It is gluten free, and is perfect ‘naked’ with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and an afternoon cup of tea. Alternatively, combined with the homemade pistachio nut butter icing and fresh honeycomb, it makes for an amazing eating experience.
- For the cake:
- 300g shelled pistachios
- 1 tsp gluten-free bicarbonate of soda
- a big pinch of sea salt
- 100g polenta
- 75g unsalted butter
- 150ml extra virgin olive oil
- 4 medium free-range eggs
- 200g golden caster sugar
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- a drizzle of runny honey
- For the pistachio nut butter:
- 250g whole, skin-on pistachios
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
- sweetener of your choice (algave syrup, honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar)
- sea salt, to taste
- For the pistachio buttercream
- 150g unsalted butter
- 300g icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp pistachio nut butter
- To decorate:
- extra pistachios and pistachio slivers
- 300g (approx.) fresh honeycomb (in a jar of honey)
Begin by making the nut butter by toasting the nuts in a heavy-based frying pan until golden. This allows the flavour to develop and the oils to be released, which helps with the grinding.
Put the warm toasted nuts in a food processor and add 1 tbsp of your chosen oil. Grind the nuts to a fine powder, leaving the mixer to run for 15-20 minutes, pausing regularly to scrape the sides of the bowl, until all of the nuts have broken down into a creamy smooth paste. Add a little more oil if necessary, and continue to mix-have faith: it will come together.
Flavour to taste with your choice of sweetener ( we like agave syrup) and season with sea salt. Pack into sterilized jars.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC/ gas 5. Grease and line a 23cm round springform cake tin.
To make the cake spread the pistachios on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and cool slightly, then place in a food processor and grind to a fine powder.
Add the bicarbonate of soda, salt and polenta to the pistachio powder and mix to combine.
Put the butter and olive oil into a small pan on a low heat until the butter has just melted-don’t allow it to boil.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and thick enough to slowly fall off the whisk in a ribbon. With the whisk still running, very slowly drizzle in the butter and oil mixture, whisking it into the eggs and sugar until fully incorporated. Add the lemon zest, and finally gently fold the nut and polenta mixture through until everything is just combined.
Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. Check that a skewer comes out clean and the surface springs back a little when you press it in the centre. The cake will be risen and golden, but it often cracks or sinks in the middle because it’s gluten-free – don’t worry about this if it happens, it adds to the rustic delicious charm.
Mix the lemon juice and honey together, drizzle over the hot cake and let it soak in. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the pistachio buttercream whip the butter and icing sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy, adding a touch of milk to loosen if necessary. The fold in a few tablespoons of pistachio nut butter.
Spread the pistachio buttercream over the top of the cake, then decorate with chunks of fresh honeycomb and whole and slivered pistachios.
Watch the Meringue Girls make the cake