I detest marzipan so always assumed that I hated almonds, walnuts never floated my boat and if I got a nut at the centre of a Christmas chocolate, I’d be very disappointed indeed. Once you ‘know’ that you don’t like something as a child, you tend to avoid it like the plague.
As a young adult I became very concerned with fat. Fat was my enemy and I’d avoid it at all costs – it would be another decade before I really came to understand that not all fats are bad and that in fact some fats are very good!
In my pursuit of good fats as part of a healthier lifestyle, I tentatively nibbled on a few almonds – I’d heard that just a couple a day can lower your cholesterol. They were really nice. I tried brazil nuts – my colleague told me they were good for hair and skin. They were really nice. I de-shelled my first pistachio – I’d been told they were really nice. THEY WERE REALLY, REALLY NICE!!
I have been missing out on these little morsels my whole life??
Since then pistachios have become my snack of choice. The shells are a great indicator of how many you’ve eaten and because you have to peel them, you can’t absent-mindedly pop them in your mouth.
This love heart cake show cases the favour, crunch and colour of my most favourite nut!
This cake tastes as good as it looks – would you like to make some?
You will need:
200g unsalted, shelled pistachios
100g Ground almonds
6 whole almonds
250g Butter or Margarine – we used a heart healthy cholesterol reducing spread!
140 g light brown sugar
60g caster sugar
50g plain flour
- Preheat your oven to 160, gas mark 3
- Combine the sugar and margarine and beat until the mixture begins to pale.
- Add the eggs and mix well (the mix may start to look like it’s curdling – but don’t panic!)
- Weigh out 120g of pistachios and blend them until finely ground.
- Add the ground pistachios and almonds to the mix.
- Stir until combined and then add the flour.
- Spoon into a prepared tin – I use a silicone one as I find it easier to turn the cake out.
- Bake for around 30 minutes or until the mixture is set and yiu can poke a skewer in and it comes out clean.
- Now this is the part that makes me question whether the recipe is good for sharing – the top burns. There doesn’t seem to be any way of avoiding this and I simply slice the top off. If anything, this is the perfect base for the nut topping, but I realise it isn’t ideal. I’m sharing the recipe despite this because it tastes soooo good!
- So slice the top off 🙂 and spread with a thin layer of lemon curd (here’s my lemon curd recipe).
- Chop up the almonds and the remaining pistachios and sprinkle on the top of the cake.
- Serve with more lemon curd.
There you have it – my oddly coloured love heart cake that my whole family went nuts for …see what I did there.