Gingham and Steel Bakes! Episode 5: GBBO’s Pistachio Cardamom Lemon Drizzle Cake

The title is as long as the video, I think, but enjoy this SUPER SPECIAL episode of Gingham and Steel Bakes! featuring my incredibly gung-ho sister, Katie!  Thoughts and recipe after the video.

Thoughts:

  • First off: this recipe is hands-down the best thing I have baked or tasted in years.  OMG it’s soooo good!  Complicated?  You bet.  (Though for a GBBO recipe, it’s pretty tame.)  This is Benjamina’s recipe from the current season of The Great British Bake Off (Season 7, Episode 1), which has not yet aired in the States…legally…(cough cough YOUTUBE cough). And it is so worth it.
  • I want to bake with special guests all the time!  Um, it was wayyyyyy more fun this way. Granted, as a result of having so much fun, we ended up with tons of excess footage, and the episode is considerably longer than usual.  But adding a social component, and someone to chat with was much more enjoyable as the “host.”  Not to worry, we’ll return to our regular format soon, but I will definitely have more special guests in the future…
  • Things I’ll do differently: next time, I think I’ll make more of the syrup to drizzle into the cake.  Ours only made it about halfway down the inside of the cake, though the sides and bottom were well moistened.  Also, I don’t know why I was supposed to save the syrup and pour it on the top just before the icing?  Next time I would completely skip the final dose of syrup (dumping it all in the cake beforehand), and just do an icing glaze before serving.
  • This recipe made me desperately long to have a tea date with my girlfriends!  Skype is great (love you, ladies!), but man, how much more fun would it be to have a monthly afternoon tea with baked goods like this?  I think this recipe also made me want to try more adventurous, flavorful baked goods, because it really was delicious.
  • Baking in Katie’s kitchen was HEAVENLY.  Great light (so few tech problems!), perfect layout, big open space in the middle…I was just delighted to get to bake in such a lovely kitchen.  Also, filming with someone else was a real treat!  So much more fun than talking to myself and praying that I’m still in frame.
  • Speaking of tech things, I got a new phone with a much better camera!  It made everything sooooooooo much prettier.  Oh, and my new phone has a reasonable amount of storage, so I don’t have to pause in the middle of filming and try to dump the footage to my computer.  I don’t think it affects anything you guys would have seen, but let me assure you, it made my life about a MILLION times better from a technical perspective. Here’s to good equipment!
  • We learned technical things.  I tried having three angles in this episode, and so my volunteer editor played around with new pacing and sequencing.  I learned that I have got to work harder on setting up the frame correctly (UGH SO LAZY but then I regret it when I have to watch the video, so…yeah), and he learned how to use his new editing program. Things will be better going forward, as usual.
  • I don’t know if this is a seasonal thing or just a reaction to my overwhelming work schedule or a result of a tea shop mystery series I’ve been narrating, but I keep feeling like throwing my whole career away and just baking all the time. I know it’s not a reasonable concept, but I LOVE baking right now.  Not just the making of tasty goodies, but the sharing of them – it’s really feeding my soul.  I’m also curious how much of it has to do with the illusion of control – experiencing in a small form a sense of stability and order that pretty much disappeared with my marriage. It’s not a bad thing to be sort of perpetually unmoored. But I’ve never been great at being comfortable facing the unknown perpetually…and that’s definitely my life right now!  #growth

Are you baking/watching/crying over The Great British Bake Off too?  No spoilers, but oh man was this a great “last” season!

Pistachio Cardamom Lemon Drizzle Cake (adapted from the BBC’s Great British Bake Off)

  • 3½oz shelled pistachios, plus extra to decorate
  • 4fl oz vegetable oil
  • 4½oz superfine (caster) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground (to make 1 tsp ground cardamom)
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 3½oz all-purpose flour
  • 1oz almond flour, sifted
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1¾oz sour cream

For the lemon syrup

  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 4¼oz superfine (caster) sugar

For the lemon icing

  • 2½oz powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a standard loaf tin.

  2. In a food processor (or a blender), pulse the pistachios to make a powder.

  3. In a large bowl, mix together the vegetable oil and superfine sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, ground cardamom and lemon zest. Stir until combined.

  4. In a separate bowl, add the flour, ground pistachios, almond flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir until well combined, then fold into the wet ingredients in the other bowl. Fold in the sour cream.

  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

  6. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Heat the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved, then briefly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  7. As soon as the cake is cooked, poke holes all over the top using a skewer. Pour over the hot syrup and leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes.

  8. When the cake is cool, remove it from the tin.

  9. For the lemon icing, sift the powdered sugar into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake.  Sprinkle remaining chopped pistachios over the top.

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