Pistachio praline & vanilla sponge

This recipe may sound harder than it is, but look at the prep time and the method and you’ll soon realize it is made to impress without all the hassle.  The ingredients are simple and most of the prep work can be done ahead of time, especially the pistachio chop.  It gives a certain exotic flavour and will surely be the talk of any party it goes to.

Time:

45 min

Serves:

10

Good for:

  • Everyday dessert
  • Exotic ethnic flavour
  • Great for party desserts

Ingredients:

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g softened butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 100g pistachio
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the filling:

  • 200g pot full fat soft cheese
  • 100g caster sugar
  • a few drops vanilla essence

For the topping

  • 2 tbsp water
  • 100g caster sugar
  • a handful of roughly chopped pistachios

Kitchen things you’ll need:

  • Two 9 inch trays
  • Parchment paper
  • Large bowl
  • Food processor
  • Spatula
  • Microwavable bowl
  • Microwave

Making it:

  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
  • Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat all the cake ingredients together until you have a smooth, soft batter.
  • Chop the pistachios in a food processor until very fine.
  • Add the self-raising flour and caster sugar to the nuts and process in the food processor until completely combined.
  • Add eggs, baking powder and milk and mix together.
  • Divide the mixture between the two trays, and smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon, then bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.
  • Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
  • For the filling mix the soft cheese with the caster sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence. Then sandwich the sponges with the filling.
  • For the topping, stir the water with the caster sugar in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on High for 3-4 mins until bubbling and starting to caramelise.
  • Stir in a handful of roughly chopped pistachios then quickly spoon onto the cake.

Tips/notes:

  • Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.
  • Instead of vanilla essence you can use maple syrup or rose water.

 

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