Sophie Michell’s pistachio cake with rosewater icing

The ultimate pretty party cake. I love the flavours of pistachio and rose together and the green and pink colours make me happy. This is where I get out my vintage crockery and go to town. I have inherited lots of beautiful china including that shown in the picture.

pistachio cake
David Loftus

MAKES 1 CAKE TO CUT INTO 6

butter or vegetable oil for the tin
300g shelled pistachios
4 tbsp Xylitol
8 medium egg whites

FOR THE FILLING
200ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE ICING
200g Xylitol icing sugar
1 tsp rosewater
splash of water to get to icing consistency

TO DECORATE
dried or crystallised rose petals and extra pistachios

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Grease and line the base of a small deep cake tin measuring about 16cm-17.5cm across and 10cm deep. Blitz the pistachios and half the sweetener in a blender or processor until fine and powdery. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and then gently, one spoonful at a time, whisking in between, add the remaining sweetener and whisk until stiff. Fold in the powdered nut mix and mix well.
2. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes, then cool. When cooled completely, make the filling. Whisk the double cream and vanilla together to form soft peaks. Slice the cake very carefully horizontally across into three layers (it is extremely delicate, so be gentle). Spread
half the cream mix on the bottom layer, then place another layer of cake followed by cream, and place the final cake layer on top.
3. To make the icing, whisk the icing sugar, rosewater and water together (use just enough water to achieve a drizzling consistency), then drizzle the icing over the cake and decorate with rose petals and pistachios.

PET SAFETY NOTE Xylitol is toxic to dogs. Don’t feed your pet anything containing Xylitol – if this is a concern for you can use an erythritol-based sweetener instead.

SAVE 25 PER CENT ON SOPHIE’S NEW BOOK
Baking Without Sugar by Sophie Michell will be published by White Owl, an imprint of Pen & Sword, on Thursday, price £25. To order a copy for £18.75 (a 25 per cent discount) until 10 June, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.