Saturday, 10 January 2009

Lemon Pistachio and Rose Water Semolina Cake

Lemon Pistachio and Rose Water Semolina Cake
3 cardamom pods, seeds only
150g pistachios, shelled, plus extra to serve
100g ground almonds
175g semolina
1¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
300g unsalted butter, at room temperature
325g caster sugar
4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
1 unwaxed lemon, grated zest, plus 1 tbsp juice
2 tbsp rose water
½ tsp vanilla essence

Rose cream
200g Greek yogurt
200g crème fraîche
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp rose water

120ml lemon juice
50ml rose water
120g caster sugar

Grease a round, 23cm, loose-bottomed cake tin and line with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Put the cardamom seeds and pistachios in a food processor and grind to a powder. Add the ground almonds, semolina, baking powder and salt; mix again briefly.
Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg in small amounts, incorporating it well. Fold in the mixed dry ingredients, then the lemon zest and juice, rose water and vanilla. Put it into the lined tin, level and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until a skewer comes out oily but dry.

Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the syrup in a small saucepan; bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat.
Remove the cake from the oven; while it is still hot, spoon all but 4 tbsp of hot syrup over. Allow the cake to cool, then take out of the tin.

Whisk together all the rose cream ingredients. Slice the cake and drizzle with the reserved syrup; serve with the cream and scatter over some chopped pistachios.