Honey I'm home!! I had a great time, plenty of foodie adventures - from campervan cooking in New Zealand to crocodile burgers and kangaroo kebabs in Australia (I was feeling pretty guilty with eating 'roo too but it was a 'when in Rome' adventure - tastes like steak) and back to the best pannacotta I've ever had in an Italian called Lucetta in Sydney.
Anyway I did miss baking while I was away and this cake was a special request from my sister who ate a rose and pistachio luxury chocolate bar and was craving the cake equivalent. Not to do things by halves I made rose creams to decorate. I probably should have made them a bit smaller so they looked neater as decorations but they tasted great.
Rosewater is one of my favourite baking flavourings, pick it up in a good health food shop or Asian food store.
For the cake
175g butter softened
175g golden caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs lightly beaten
2 tsp good quality rosewater
100g pistachios shelled
1 tbsp milk
1. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy, around 5-6 minutes. Add a quarter of the eggs with a heaped tablespoon of the flour. Beat quickly after each addition just until incorporated. Continue until all the egg is gone.
2. Sift the remaining flour with the baking powder into a clean bowl. Fold in the rest of the flour with a big metal spoon. Finally fold in the pistachios and the milk until the batter is light.
3. Divide between two 6 inch tins and smooth the tops. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180oC until a skewer comes out clean and the cakes are golden.
For the Rose Creams from 'Hope and Greenwood's Life is Sweet'
3 tbsp double cream
3 tbsp rose water
175g icing sugar
drop of pink food colouring
Makes around 30 easily
1. Place the rosewater, cream and food colouring in a bowl and mix well.
2. Sift in the icing sugar into the wet ingredients and mix really well until it comes together in a ball. Place in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Pull little balls off the fondant and roll into balls. Leave on a plate to dry slightly.
4. Melt the chocolate adding a drop of groundnut oil if you wish.
5. Dip the fondant balls into the chocolate. I think using a fork or cocktail stick is a good plan. Roll in decorations, whether hundreds and thousands or pink sugar as I used.
6. Leave to dry for a few hours.
For the frosting
200g icing sugar sifted
75g butter, softened
1-2 tbsp milk
1 tsp rosewater
1. Beat the butter and icing sugar with an electric beater until getting clumpy. Add the milk and beat heavily for 5-6 minutes until white.
2. Add the rosewater and beat again for a minute.
Put the cake together with the frosting and decorate with the rose creams.