‘Tis the season

Hello my lovely readers!! A very merry Christmas eve to you all! Can you believe it’s finally this time of year….scary how fast time flies. Hope you are all ready to have an awesome xmas. I was pondering about this post for a while, as you know Yalda usually falls right before christmas and last year I wrote a post about it (if you don’t know what Yalda is then I highly recommend you take a look at my “Yalda” post to catch up)

I didn’t want to talk about Yalda this time around and didn’t have much to discuss in terms of Christmas as in Iran Christmas is only celebrated by the Christian minority so I was in a bit of a pickle. Having this writer’s block allowed me to become slightly creative so it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I decided to come up with a great recipe that can be used for Christmas and Yalda. It involved both themes plus I got to use my Kitchen Aid for the very first time since buying it almost 2 years ago! yes that’s right, I was using it as a decoration piece this whole time but after using it for this recipe I pledge to use it more often as it cut my time in half.

In the lead up to this recipe I thought about Yalda initially and decided I wanted to make something with Pomegranates and Pistachios. Hence I decided to go with a sweet option. Then  realised that these are also the colours of Christmas so it turned out to be very fortuitous indeed.

I searched online for cake recipes and found one that had potential, then I tweaked it and voila here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Pomegranate and Pistachio cake:

Ingredients

For cake

  • 225g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • around 1/2 tbsp crushed Cardamom pods (approx 6-8 pods)
  • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 70g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt (I use pink Himalayan)
  •   300g Pistachios plus extra for decoration purposes

For glaze

  • Juice of 1 Pomegranate
  • Juice of 1/2-1 Lemon
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate molases
  • Pomegranate seeds for decoration purposes
  • 1/4 tsp of gelatin powder or can use cornstarch substitute for thickening purposes

Tools requied

  • whisk
  • mortar and pestle
  • hand stick mixer
  • electric mixer
  • 20cm Springform pan
  • spatula
  • baking paper
  • foil

Method

  • preheat the oven to 160-180 C fan
  • grease and line the springform pan
  • blitz the pistachios with the stick mixer until finely ground
  • place the butter into a large bowl and using the electric mixer beat until light and creamy; approx 3 mins
  • use the mortar and pestle to crush the cardamom pods into fine ground (alternatively you can use store bought ground cardamom, however I think using the pods is better as it enhances the flavour. Also any chance to use a mortar and pestle is so satisfying 🙂 )
  • add the sugar and cardamom ground to the butter and beat until light and fluffy mixture is formed; approx 5 mins
  • whisk the eggs lightly in a separate bowl and add it to the butter mixture slowly, beating until fully combined
  • sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together and add it to the ground pistachios
  • finally add the dried mixture to the butter mixture and gently fold together until batter is homogenised
  • scrape the batter into the pan and make sure there are no air pockets and is evenly distributed by tapping the pan onto the bench a few times
  • place pan into the oven for 50-60mins or until golden brown, if the cake is browning too quickly lightly cover it with some foil
  • allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 mins before taking it out and decorate with glaze, pistachios and pomegranates
  • to make the glaze I just played around with the ingredients listed above to come up with a balanced flavour that I liked, this is really up to your taste buds. If you like it a bit on the sweeter side then add extra sugar but if you like it a bit tart like me then add 1 whole lemon and less sugar. When you decided on the flavour add the thickening agent and place on stove and whisk until you feel resistance. Take it off the heat to cool before pouring onto the cake.

Hot tip: to make sure the pistachios don’t form a paste whilst blitzing them just add a dash of flour

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end result,a very festive treat!

So there you have it an awesome recipe that incorporates Persian and Christmas themes plus I got to use my Kitchen Aid and it kind of tastes like Baghlava #winning

I hope you enjoyed this post as it was my last one for the year. I wish all my lovely readers a very merry and safe Christmas break. Hope Santa treats you well!

Thank you so much for the ongoing support, I truly appreciate it. See you in 2018 for more treats Xx

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