Tuesday, 28 October 2014

PVC Cake (AKA Pistachio, Vanilla & Chocolate Marble Cake)

There's no doubt about it; I am like a woman obsessed at the moment. Obsessed with all things pistachio, that is! Well I'm still experimenting and this cake was just so good, I had to share the recipe. This is just a quick post…but believe me the cake is fab and looks so pretty!

This is essentially a simple marble cake - lightly blended, differently flavoured or coloured cake batters that are baked together in the one tin to create a mottled/marbled finish when sliced. I considered these cakes the height of sophistication when I was a child and regularly begged my grandmother to bake them as a special treat for me. As a child, my favourite marble cake was one made with chocolate, plain and brightly pink coloured cake batter - we called it our Neapolitan Marble Cake as it resembled the Neapolitan ice-cream that my brother and I had such a penchant for.
 
Here I was keen to create a cake that looked a little bit more elegant and one that showcased my nut du jour - pistachios. The cake was very simple to make but looked beautiful when sliced. The pistachio, vanilla and chocolate flavours all came through distinctively yet complemented each other so well. I am confident that this is a cake that both young and old will delight in.
 
I chose not to decorate or ice the finished cake, but a simple chocolate glace icing or some melted chocolate drizzled on and allowed to set, would not be out of place!

Ingredients:

225g butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
275g self-raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
25ml milk
25g pistachio paste
1/2 tsp vanilla extract/paste
1tblsp cocoa powder + 1-2 tblsp boiling water, mixed together to form a paste


Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/Fan Oven 140C/Gas Mark 3. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin and set aside. Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and using a hand-held electric mixer, beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold into the creamed mixture, adding the milk half way through. Make sure that everything is mixed together well, but do not over mix as this will develop the gluten in the flour and result in a heavy cake.
3. Divide the cake batter into three, placing in separate bowl. To the first bowl add the pistachio paste; to the second the vanilla extract/paste and to the third the cocoa mixture. Make sure that each of these additions is we" mixed through the batter in their respective bowls.
4. Drop spoonfuls of the three cake batters into the prepared loaf tin, alternating them until all of the batter is used up. Drag a thin skewer through the cake batter (once it is in the tin) to encourage the intermingling of the batters. You need only do this three or four times.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the cake is well risen and a thin skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Serves 8-10.