Makes: 1 large (9x5 inch) loaf
Ingredients: For the cake 225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 250g (1 1/4 cups) golden/raw caster/granulated sugar 4 large eggs, room temperature, whisked together 1 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract) Finely grated zest of 2 lemons 120g shelled pistachios (1 cup), ground* 70g whole raw almonds (1/2 cup), ground* 70g all-purpose flour* (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) 1 tsp sea salt For the icing 1 250-g (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened 130g (1 cup) of icing/confectioner's sugar, sifted to remove any lumps (+ up to 65g/1/2 cup extra if you would like a thicker icing) Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 1 - 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (use the larger amount if you want an extra tangy icing) Single (heavy) cream/water to thin if needed 60g (1/2 cup) shelled pistachios, roughly chopped to top the cake * Grind pistachios and almonds into a flour using a food processor. * For a low gluten/gluten free option, subsitute the all-purpose flour with equal amounts of spelt flour or gluten free flour. Weigh the flour for the best results. Method For the cake 1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (325 degrees F). Grease and line a 9x5 inch loaf tin with parchment paper, making sure that there is some overhang (to use as a handle later when pulling the loaf from the tin). 2. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium-low speed, very slowly add the whisked eggs to the butter mixture until incorporated, stopping occasionally to scrape the bowl down with a spatula. Add the vanilla bean/extract and lemon zest and mix until incorporated. 3. Whisk the ground pistachios, ground almonds, flour and salt together in a large bowl until incorporated and lump-free. Fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture with a spatula until fully incorporated. 4. Scrape the batter into the tin and smooth the top. Bake for approximately 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (it will probably be a little wet from all that butter - that's okay). Take the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. For the icing 1. Whisk the softened cream cheese, 130 g/1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice together in a medium bowl until well combined and smooth. 2. If you would like a thicker icing, continue to add sugar until you reach the desired consistency. If you would like a thinner icing, add single (heavy) cream or water a teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. You will most likely end up with more icing then you need. 3. Spread as much icing as you'd like onto the cooled cake. Top with the chopped pistachios and allow the icing to set slightly. Serve in thick slices as is or with whipped cream.