Substitution for Pistachio Essence
Posted: 03 January 2010 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Does anyone know of one?  I am finding it hard to pay $15.00 plus 8.50 for shipping.
I want to make the Sicilian Pistachio Cake from Heavenly Cakes.
Many sincere thanks,
Mary

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Posted: 03 January 2010 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I note that the pistachio essence is only used in the bc, not the cake. Even there, it’s optional. You could just leave it out.

Or have a look at this post, where Julie offers some neat ideas like using liqueur or making your own pistachio-flavoured syrup. Check out the rest of the thread, too. Good luck!

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/1347/#13032

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Posted: 03 January 2010 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks so much…..I was hoping to maybe find some extract or some oil less than 30.00.  I will read her post…...
Again sincere thanks.

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Posted: 03 January 2010 11:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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If you’re squeamish about the extract, wait until you see how much the pistachios cost smile  Actually, I’m in the same dilemma.  I have the pistachios, but am trying to decide about the essence.  I will probably go ahead an get it and consider this cake a delicious splurge!

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Posted: 04 January 2010 05:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I am certain this cake will be a great worship to pistachio, how many pistachio desserts do we know of?

I would get the essense and the choice pistachios, otherwise make another cake from the book, so many great cakes to choose.

Frangelico plus amaretto is known as a sub for pistachia.  So maybe a hazelnut essence plus almond essence would do?

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Posted: 04 January 2010 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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pistachios are expensive but the flavor is so yummy. the pistachio essence from lacuisineus.com ($15 plus shipping) is a 2 oz bottle which will last a long time. The amount you use for one cake doesn’t even make a dent in the bottle. I guess I can get around 20 cakes from one bottle of essence wihci is not bad.

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Posted: 06 January 2010 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I was wondering if the pistachios are worth it.  The Sicilian ones are about $50/lb.  I think the Iranian ones were “only” $25/lb.  Are these that much better than the pistachios at trader joes that cost $8/lb?

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Posted: 06 January 2010 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Adrian - 06 January 2010 06:17 PM

I was wondering if the pistachios are worth it.  The Sicilian ones are about $50/lb.  I think the Iranian ones were “only” $25/lb.  Are these that much better than the pistachios at trader joes that cost $8/lb?

I can’t speak for the Sicilian or Iranian pistachios but California pistachios are just fine. They are good quality nuts. I use them all the time and they have a wonderful flavor and make yummy deserts. I believe the Trader Joe brand uses California nuts but I think they are salted so take that into consideration. There may be a quality in the sicilian or iranian ones that make lovely cakes, but the cost is not worth it. I’d rather donate that extra money to a food pantry and help people in need rather than make a cake with $50 pistachios. It’s all a matter of perspective to me. I love cake (it’s actually my business) and I try to use the best quality imported and domestic ingredients, but I’m not going to go overboard when there are hungry and needy people in our own country that I can help feed with the few dollars I’d save by not buying $50 nuts. That’s just outrageous to me. Cake, especially Rose’s cakes are wonderful, but IMO cake is not the whole world. If it is then something is wrong with this world. Sorry for the sermon, but IMO the message is true.

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Posted: 06 January 2010 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I have been able to get shelled, unsalted pistachios at Trader Joes, at least in the past.  But I can’t help wondering what the difference is between the California ones and the ones from Sicily and Iran.  Has anybody tasted the imported ones?

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Posted: 06 January 2010 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Adrian,
Your right, I have seen the unsalted ones at Trader Joes. As far as imported pistachios. The Turkish ones are smaller and sweeter and are supposed to be very close in flavor to the Iranian ones. Hopefully someone else has tried the others. 

An idea: If you can find one, you can try checking your local Middle Eastern markets for the Iranian or Turkish pistachios. They might sell them cheaper than the vendors listed in RHC. The “mom and pops” ones near me are always priced cheaper than the gourmet markets.

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Posted: 06 January 2010 11:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’ve used the ones from Trader Joe’s, and I didn’t think they were that great—lower quality than ones I have bought at regular grocery stores. They were kind of soft and lacking in flavor and color.  I have a bag of the Sicilian ones now.  Haven’t tasted them yet, but I can tell you they are the most beautiful pistachios I have ever seen—brilliantly green!

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Posted: 07 January 2010 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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In Italy (at least in Venice) some of the vendors of pistachio ice cream advertise that the pistachios are from a special zone in Sicily, and they charge more for that flavor. I’m not sure where the nuts in the other pistachio ice cream comes from.

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Posted: 08 January 2010 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I’ve gotten pistachio at Whole Foods - they have unshelled unsalted ones. I’ve gotten them for snacking purposes and they were crunchy and good. I agree that it is not cheap. So is almonds, but they are so good (and good for you).

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Posted: 17 May 2010 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I know it’s a while since you posted this, but I’m making this cake this weekend, and I plan to use almond extract instead of pistachio essence.  My pistachio ice cream recipes all use almond extract, and the cake uses it—I think a lot of what we’re used to in baking as “pistachio” flavor is often almond, anyway!!!

Also, I skinned my pistachios (California) the other night (and toasted them to dry them out again), but they don’t have near the flavor of the unskinned ones—the skin must contribute to the flavor somehow—so I’m making a sort of homemade marzipan later that will go between the cake layers and the buttercream rather than putting the skinned ones on the outside.  I’m using all roasted, unskinned pistachios for the best flavor.  Maybe the flavor of Sicilian ones hold up to skinning, but the pistachios I buy, which are very, very delicious otherwise, don’t.

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Posted: 17 May 2010 09:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thanks so much for reporting on this, it’s good to know.

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