This summer I found a new food blog I just loved, its called The Little Library Cafe and all of the recipes on the blog are inspired by books that the author has read, how dreamy does that sound. There is Sole with White Sauce for A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN, Pink Grapefruit Marmalade for A BEAR CALLED PADDINGTON, and Sesame Balls for THE JOY LUCK CLUB, the list and the inspiration could go on and on and indeed does. I loved the marriage of two of the most important things in my life – books and food.
While all of the recipes look delicious and so inviting I found it hard where I wanted to start but I started with a Pistachio and Rose Cake for MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. The cake is light and stunningly scented of rose, citrus, and pistachio (I would wear this scent as perfume if it were an option). Its filled with bright flavors that whisper love with every bite. Love like Shakespeare wrote about, love of words, love of sugar and butter, love of reading, and love of baking. What could be better?! This cake!!
I have made some slight adjustments to the recipe from the blog and converted from metric. The second time I baked this cake I reduced the amount of sugar and butter to the below amounts, as I found the first one to have more then I wanted. When I started baking with rose water last year I never imagined I would enjoy it as an ingredient as much as I do, but I have found myself baking more cakes and cookies that call for the intensely scented water and loving the subtly and stunning way it elevates a recipe.
Pistachio Rose Cake
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shelled and peeled pistachio
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 tsp rose water
1/2 cup spelt four
3/4 cup powder sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350° and grease and line the bottom of a cake tin (or I use a springform pan) with parchment paper.
- Pulse the pistachios and the almonds in a food processor until they are fine texture. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Beat the eggs in 1 at a time. Fold in the nut mixture.
- Grate the orange zest into the batter, and then juice the orange and add it along with the rose water. Finally, fold in the flour.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly cover it with tin foil for the last 10 minutes. Cool cake.
- While the cake is cooling make the icing. Mix the lemon juice and powered sugar until it is smooth and consistent consistency. Once cake is cool, run knife along the edges to loosen the cake (I found the cake to stick ever so slightly and needed this help in getting out of the pan). Pour or spoon icing over the cake and decorate with rose petals and chopped pistachios as desired.