Saturday, 28 February 2015

Mini Lemon & Pistachio Bundt Cakes

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the flavour of lemons?!!! Hmmm… I may have done so once or twice! It is a well-established fact with readers of my blog posts that I am totally and absolutely head-over-heels in love with lemons. Cakes, puddings, desserts, biscuits, sweets, savoury dishes… if it’s got lemon in it, I am pre-destined to love it! I’ve said this many times before, but whilst some people may be chocoholics, I’m a lemon lover all the way! The funny thing is that two of my favourite desserts of all time are Lemon Surprise Pudding (AKA Lemon Delicious) and Lemon Meringue Pie, but I have not yet posted my recipes for either of these dishes to date. This is a situation that I am determined to rectify over the coming weeks.
 
The great thing about lemon as a flavour is that it can be paired really successfully with so many other ingredients and flavours. One of my favourite taste combos at the moment is lemon and ginger. The zingy freshness and acidity of lemon just works so well with the fragrant, spicy warmth of ginger and together they create something that enlivens and excites even the most jaded palate. Another pairing that I am currently very enamoured with is lemon and pistachio. There is nothing new about this flavour combination and these two ingredients are often seen together especially in Middle Eastern inspired recipes.
 
Here I have used them together to make mini-bundt cakes, but if you don’t have mini-bundt cake tins, you can bake these in muffin or cupcake tins. The sponge is flavoured with lemon zest and is studded with pistachios roughly chopped into small pieces. Each cake is then enrobed with an intensely flavoured lemon glacé icing and some freshly chopped pistachios. The pistachios have an earthy sweetness that compliments the acidity of the lemons beautifully so that each flavour is wonderfully highlighted.
 
This mixture makes 6-8 small bundt cakes around the size of a large cupcake.
 

Ingredients:

To prepare tins:
25g butter, melted
25g plain flour
Cakes:
175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
175g plain flour
75g self-raising flour
50ml milk
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
75g pistachios, roughly chopped into small pieces
Icing:
150g icing sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
30g pistachios, roughly chopped into small pieces
 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180c/Fan Oven 160C/gas Mark 4. Brush the inside of your mini-bundt tins with some melted butter using a pastry brush. Dust the inside of each buttered tin with some of the plain flour and shake out any excess. Set aside.
Cakes:
2. Place the butter and sugar into 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.
3. Sift the plain and self-raising flour together and fold into the creamed mixture along with the milk. Once everything is mixed together, add the lemon zest and chopped pistachios and mix through evenly.
4. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared mini-bundt tins, filling each one 2/3 full with the batter. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 18-22 minutes until well risen and golden brown, or until a thin skewer inserted into one comes out clean.
5. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
To finish:
6. Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together to create a slightly runny glacé icing. Drizzle the icing over the cooled bundt cakes. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios before the icing sets.
 
Makes 6-8 mini-bundt cakes.