It has been a busy summer, for that I apologize, as I have not posted in a while. The patio is now done! The beginning stage of the kitchen redecoration is done! I must say I am truly enjoying the payoff of all the hard work.
My sister recently had an interview for a higher position at her current organization. She worked hard to prepare for it and was a little nervous. I wanted to bake her a cake to let her know that I was proud of her and as a sweet treat after weeks of preparation. Since it was not going to be a surprise, she got to choose the type and flavor of cake that she wanted. She settled on pistachio cake with honey vanilla buttercream. Pistachio has recently become one her favorite and most requested baked goods flavors.
As stated earlier, it has been and continues to be a busy summer. In an effort to make sure I wasn’t baking and decorating at 1am, I baked the cake the night before and decorated the following day.
The cake itself is 3 layers. A word of warning, the frosting does take a bit of effort. The buttercream is not your standard butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and cream. It also is softer than your standard buttercream, even with giving it time to chill. Once the cake is completed, I recommend serving it immediately or chilling it before serving if you plan to serve at a later time. Initially I planned on piping some of the buttercream as the decoration, however because the frosting was so soft I was not confident that it would hold up. Instead I decided to chop pistachios and create a crescent moon on top with some of the crushed pistachios around the sides’ top edge.
The cake turned out so fluffy!
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Pistachio Cake with Honey Vanilla Buttercream
1 Cup Pistachios, shelled
2 ½ Cups Cake Flour
¾ Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 T Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
¾ t Salt
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1 ¾ Cups Sugar
1 T Vanilla Extract
1 Egg, large
1 ½ Cups Ice Water
3 Egg Whites, large, at room temperature
¼ t Cream of Tartar
1 ½ Cups Sugar
1/3 Cup Flour
1 ½ Cups Milk
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
1 ½ Cups Unsalted Butter, softened, cut into pieces
1 t Vanilla Extract
3 T Honey
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
For the cake:
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the pistachio until they are coarsely chopped. Remove 2 tablespoons to a small bowl. Pulse the remaining pistachios until they have almost a powder-like consistency. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk together both the roughly chopped and finely chopped pistachios with the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter for 3 minutes. Add in the sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the egg and mix until just combined.
Turn the mixer speed to low. Add the flour/pistachio mix to the wet ingredients in three additions, alternating with the ice water, mixing each time until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix on low-speed for a few more seconds.
In a medium, clean bowl whisk together the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Be sure to gently fold in the egg whites, so that you do not deflate the air that you just whipped into them.
Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Flip the cakes out of the pans, onto the rack and let cool completely before frosting. Remove parchment paper from the bottoms.
For the buttercream:
In a medium heavy saucepan, whisk together the flour and sugar. Add in the milk and heavy cream and cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil and then thickens, 10-15 minutes.
Transfer the hot milk mixture to a stand mixer bowl and mix with the paddle attachment (or a bowl with a hand mixer) on high-speed until cool, about 9 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter, a few pieces at a time, until it is fully incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, a few minutes.
Add in the vanilla and honey and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, chill it in the refrigerator and mix again.
To assemble the cake:
Place one cake layer top side up on a serving platter. Use a long serrated knife, cut the top so that it is flat and even. Spread a little over a cup of frosting on top. Add the next later and, again, trim so that it is flat. Top with another cup of frosting. Add the remaining cake layer and trim the top again. Spread the entire cake with a very thin layer of frosting for the crumb coating. Put in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting and decorate as desired.
Recipe is courtesy of Eats Well With Others Blog