Sunday, 3 March 2013


Anybody who knows me, knows I'm a sucker for cookery books. As my collection is expanding and expanding I lean towards those that have a story to tell, or those which have pretty pictures. If there is just 2 or 3 recipes I want to try and the rest looks appetizing to just look at, I'm happy with the book. I can be fed on eye candy alone :). As I live in Italy and as my Italian is not good enough to buy books in Italian, I rely on Amazon's reviews by other people and the bookpreview etc. The first Hummingbird Bakery book was not received too well. There were too many people complaining about incorrectnesses. The second was received quite a bit better I thought. For prettiness they get an A from me. Pretty pictures, pretty lay out. There were indeed 2 or 3 recipes I wanted to try. One of them was the Pistachio Loaf. I'm so happy I tried it. I was very curious as to whether I would like it or not. Pistachio nuts can be a little bit of a hit or miss. Especially in savory dishes it can easily become too much. And in sweet dishes I've really only tasted it in icecream, although that is without fail the taste I always choose when I go for Italian gelato.

Pistachio Loaf

Pistachio Loaf

Pistachio Loaf

Pistachio Loaf

Recipe Adapted from Cake Days

For Sponge
190gr unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
190gr selfraising flour
190gr brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
50ml soured cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
100gr shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

For the glaze
120gr icing sugar
40gr ground pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tbsp water

1 rectangular loaf tin

Preheat oven to 170C
Grease the Loaf tin with butter and lay a piece of greaseproof paper. I always put one piece which covers the longer sides and bottom. Not necessarily the shorter sides. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add nuts, soured cream and vanilla essence to the mixture. Make sure it's well incorporated, but not necessary to mix thoroughly. Fold in sifted flour and salt into mixture. Put batter into loaf tin and then bake 55-60 min in oven. Allow to cool in tin for 5 min. Turn out on to a wire rack, when cooled down completely add the glaze, which is the water and icing sugar mixed together till a runny paste. If necessary add a little more water at a time. Sprinkle pistachios over it.


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