Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Zucchini-Pistachio Cake with Lime Glaze

This was the first successful cake I baked in my kitchen.

I've had some awful disasters with my baking experiments, not a very long time ago. My cakes would either be burnt, too dry and crumbly or just prosaic. I couldn't get the sugar right, the batter right or even the oven temperature right. My Mum, who bakes wonderful cakes couldn't provide me with much help either. When she was young and started baking, she didn't face half the problems that I seemed to be 'nurturing' in my kitchen.
I was lost! The baking world was closing its door at me!

And then, one of my best friends came to my rescue. She gave me the recipe for this Zucchini Pistachio Cake and encouraged me to try it out. She promised me that this was a no-fail recipe and I had to try it before saying no to baking. One day, when I had nothing to do and was totally bored, after months of holding on to this recipe, I decided on giving it a try.
And Viola! A perfect cake in my kitchen.

I've come a long way now with my baking ventures and feel confident to try out new recipes. More often than not, I bake a good cake, if not a perfect cake. And thanks to my friend and her recipe, for opening the baking doors for me.

Makes: One 8-inch Cake
Preparation Time: 20 - 30 minutes
Baking Time + Cooking Time: 1 hr + 5 minutes + cooling time


For the cake
  • 1 large zucchini
  • lime rind from 2 limes
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cardamom powder

For the glaze
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 1 lime, juice and rind
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
1. Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 160°C. Sift self-raising flour with baking powder. mix almond meal and keep it aside. Grate zucchini using the large hole grater.
2. Add oil, sugar and eggs and beat until sugar dissolves. Add lime rind and vanilla extract and mix well. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add chopped nuts, grated zucchini and cardamom powder and mix well. Pour batter into a prepared 8-inch springform pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hr or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. (You can check on your cake after 45 minutes into baking but not before that). Stand on wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before turning out.
3. To prepare glaze, place butter and lime juice into a medium pan and stir over low heat until butter has melted. Remove from heat and add icing sugar. Stir to combine. Return to heat and stir for a minute. Remove from fire and let it stand for a few minutes. Pour this over cooled cake and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

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