An Alternative Easter Cake - Lemon & Pistachio
For those that fancy something a little lighter than a Simnel cake this Easter, we've baked a tiered sponge cake flavoured with lemon & pistachio. With a nod to tradition, it still contains marzipan, but rather than spread across the top you'll find it hidden underneath each layer of sponge - adding a delicious nuttiness to the flavour and making each slice feel just a bit more special than a regular lemon sponge.
A delicious alternative to a fruit cake, perfect post easter egg hunt on Sunday afternoon. (Or, from our cafe this weekend!)
For the marzipan
50g ground almonds
75g golden caster sugar
75g icing sugar
1 medium Free Range Egg white, lightly beaten
For the cake
175g slightly salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
175g golden caster sugar
Finely grated zest 2 lemons, plus 3 tbsp juice
3 medium Free Range Eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the butter icing
75g slightly salted butter, softened
75g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp lemon juice
Chopped pistachios, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease and base line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. To make the marzipan, put the pistachios in a food processor and blitz until finely ground. Add the almonds, caster sugar, icing sugar and the egg white and blend to a paste.
For the cake, put the butter, sugar, lemon zest, eggs, flour and baking powder in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until pale and creamy. Beat in the lemon juice and spoon a quarter of the mixture into each of the tins. Level the surface. Halve the pistachio marzipan and roll out each piece on a surface dusted with icing sugar until slightly smaller than the tins. Press gently over the filling in each tin and cover with the remaining mixture.
Bake for 35–40 minutes or until risen and just firm to the touch. Loosen the edges of the cakes with a knife and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
For the butter icing, beat the butter with the icing sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the lemon juice. Use to sandwich the cakes together on a serving plate. Dust the top lightly with icing sugar and scatter with chopped pistachios to decorate.