Monday, May 12, 2014

Fancy Things: Pistachio Cardamom Cake

This year's cake for B's birthday totally de-throned last year's. According to him, by a long shot. I thought about the combo for weeks and scoured the internet, but there just wasn't much out there. In the end, I combined a couple of recipes and winged the rest. The results were magnificent.

Vanilla Bean & Cardamom Cake

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar 
1/2 vanilla bean
2 c. cake flour 
1 1/2 t. cardamom
1 t. baking powder 
1/2 t. baking soda
pinch of kosher salt
1 c. buttermilk
3 egg whites, beaten stiff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat the insides of 2 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line with parchment paper . In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and the beans scraped from half of a vanilla bean together until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add half of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix just until it starts to combine. Add half of the buttermilk and mix just until it starts to combine. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients and lightly mix. Add the remaining buttermilk and lightly mix. Add the remaining dry ingredients and lightly mix. With a spatula, fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Divide the batter evenly among the two pans.  Bake a cake for 25 - 30 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test as well.  Cool completely.

Pistachio Marscapone Filling

8 ounces marscapone cheese, softened
2-3 tbsp pistachio paste
3 tbsp (or to taste) powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Depending on how sweet you like your filling add more or less powdered sugar.

Vanilla Pistachio Buttercream

4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp lowfat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup pistachios, chopped

Cream the butter & salt for about 30 seconds and then add half of the powdered sugar and the milk to the butter and beat again until combined. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and the lemon juice and beat until combined. Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until the frosting is fluffy. Add 2/3 cup chopped pistachios.

To assemble: Top first layer with pistachio marscapone filling. Place second layer on top. Frost the cake evenly, add the remaining 1/3 cup chopped pistachios on top of the frosting.


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