Pistachio, lemon syrup cakes

One of my favourite ingredients of all times are Pistachios.  I will eat them whole, ground, or in a paste spread over some crusty bread.  And the pale green colour is so appealing.  If you prefer oranges over lemons, then that is an easy swap, but cut down on the sugar a little.

Ingredients:

For the cakes

250g unsalted butter, room temperature

250g caster sugar

4 large free range eggs, whisked

Zest of one large lemon

220g pistachios, ground

40g plain flour, sieved

For the syrup topping
Juice and zest of one large lemon
50g golden caster sugar
60g pistachios, coarsely chopped

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C. Grease and line two 9 x 18cm loaf tins.  I like making 2 little cakes as I can freeze one for later.

2. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat the eggs into the mixture until incorporated, then add the vanilla and lemon zest. Fold in the ground nuts and flour.

3. Divide the batter between your two tins and bake for between 30 – 40 mins, testing to see if the cakes are done by inserting a skewer into the middle.

4. When baked, remove from the oven and leave in the tins for about five minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.

5. For the syrup topping, mix together the lemon juice and sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer until slightly thickened and syrupy. Stir in the pistachios then pour evenly over the two loaf cakes.

Serve in thick slabs and enjoy!  You could of course serve this with a big dollop of double cream to complete the indulgence.

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