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Pistachio Cake
Posted: 09 August 2012 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Baked this cake for the first time finally.  What held me up was concern over the pistachios.  WIth that I am not happy.  I found the pistachios (Kaluystan’s?)....too expensive.  Meanwhile, So still not sure what to do re: the nuts on the outside?  I think blanching makes them gummy and takes aways the crunh….toasting removes the green and not all of them were green enough to begin with. 

I also did not get pistachio essence. 

Beyond that….I love, love, love the taste of the cake and the buttercream….. just love it.

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Posted: 09 August 2012 11:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think your cake is beautiful, Renee, including the color of the pistachios on the sides. 

When I made this cake, I used “regular” pistachios (not Kaluystan’s).  I found that blanching the pistachios totally robbed them of their flavor, and I found this a silly stunt just to have a heightened color.  Roasting them allowed me to skin them just as easily, and I simply sorted them, keeping the greenest ones for the outside and putting the yellower ones into the cake itself.

On the whole, I’m not a fan of extracts, so I omitted it.  I like the flavors to come from the food itself and my opinion is that amping with extracts gives a “jolly ranchers” intensity that just doesn’t make sense to a natural, from scratch setting—I expect it in a boxed cake or boxed pudding, because that’s what processed foods are all about.  I found that the cake and the frosting balanced perfectly and had plenty of pistachio flavor.  You probably have powerful equipment there at the shop—what I did with some of the outside pistachios was to make a pistachio butter out of them and add it, proportionately by weight, to some of the buttercream for piping.  That sort of “pre-mastication” of the nuts released super-intense pistachio flavor into the buttercream, without using any more pistachios than called for, and it was a gorgeous green color.  It would have worked well for the whole cake, too.

I agree—the taste of this cake and buttercream not to be forgotten!

Sorry if I was a bit soap-boxy.  Sometimes it’s hard to explain stuff without sounding like a maniac.  ; )

—ak

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Posted: 09 August 2012 11:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Oh, and p.s., re my sorting pistachios.  My greener ones, for the outside, still were nothing like the ones in the book’s pictures.  I don’t think anyone’s used to seeing pistachios that green, so unless you’re looking at the cake right next to the book picture, it just looks like a beautiful green pistachio cake, and that’s all anyone else sees, too.

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Posted: 09 August 2012 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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THank you Anne,  I am kinda of with you on the extract really..  But I am wondering now about the oil.  THe sorting of the pistachios is alot of work.  and, that is what I did…... also using the less colorful ones for the inside of the cake.  I did not get the skins off easily… Perhaps I did not allow them to roast long enough. 

Re: the photo in the book… I suspect there is some retouching perhaps there.  Or, the Sicilian Pistachios are just greener.

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Posted: 09 August 2012 11:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yes, the Sicilian pistachios are super-green, which is cool if it’s worth the money for a particular purpose.  The color of your pistschios looks like mine—I think your cake looks perfect!

Which oil are you wondering about?  I don’t like them, either, but I’m just a PITA about those things!

If I made the cake again, I would forget the green concept and not bother sorting.  Pistachios vary with a range of beautiful shades og red, yelloe and green—no reason to consider it unsightly!

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Posted: 09 August 2012 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Anne in NC - 10 August 2012 02:40 AM

Yes, the Sicilian pistachios are super-green, which is cool if it’s worth the money for a particular purpose.  The color of your pistschios looks like mine—I think your cake looks perfect!

Which oil are you wondering about?  I don’t like them, either, but I’m just a PITA about those things!

Here are some:
http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-683177/La-Tourangelle-Roasted-Pistachio-Oil
http://www.igourmet.com/shoppe/Pistachio-Oil-by-Saveurs-de-la-Terre.asp
and this one is likely best for candy
https://www.lorannoils.com/p-8537-pistachio-flavor.aspx

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Posted: 10 August 2012 01:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Your cake looks beautiful CRenee. It is making me want to bake one too.

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Posted: 10 August 2012 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Gorgeous cake, and your description of the flavor and buttercream make me want to make it- today! smile

I have made a couple of closely related things- the almond version of this cake and the lyle’s buttercream, and I agree they are superb.

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Posted: 10 August 2012 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thank you Flour Girl, Thank you Julie.  I think next time I will go with crushed pistachios as outside adornment.  and likely just a little of it ... just so folks know it is pistachio in the cake.

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Posted: 10 August 2012 11:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Oh!  I thought you meant oils like orange and lemon oil and such.  The la Tourangelle oils are fabulous!

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Posted: 11 August 2012 11:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Anne in NC - 11 August 2012 02:45 AM

Oh!  I thought you meant oils like orange and lemon oil and such.  The la Tourangelle oils are fabulous!

I will check them out.

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Posted: 13 August 2012 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I don’t see nothing wrong in this nice cake smile

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Posted: 20 August 2012 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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thank you COokie Monster.  The cake tastes great.

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Posted: 19 December 2012 05:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Great discussion! Have any of you ever added some Pistachio Paste to the cake or frosting? It heightens the flavour immensely! I also like to infuse cream with chopped pistachios and then pass through cheesecloth, especially for Pistachio Creme Brulee. Reg the taste of blanched nuts - only boil them for long enough to loosen the skins, then rinse with cold immediately. The taste is greatly enhanced by allowing them to dry thoroughly and toasting them a little bit again. I like to make this for St Patrick’s Day in honour of my hubby Patrick!

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Posted: 19 December 2012 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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thank you, Kuuchenbaaker How timely for your input. 

I have to consider whether I will be bold enough to boil the nuts again.  I think I will do just a handful just to see what happens.  When you say infuse cream ...do you mean heavy or whipping cream?  I am ready to bake again and and am thinking I will go with the La-Tourangell oil.  I need to review the recipe again.

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Posted: 19 December 2012 08:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Last week I made French macaroms using 50% pistachio and almond. Came out delish.

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