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Pistachio Cake | www.tasteandtellblog.com

One of my favorite things to do beside cooking and photography is reading. I’ve actually been a reader all of my life, but for some reason, in the last few years, I haven’t read much. But towards the end of last year, I started reading a lot more again, and so one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2010 was to read at least 12 books – averaging one a month. Well, I guess I really got back into reading, because it’s July and I am on book #47 for the year!!

One of the books I read this year was a charming little book called “Eat Cake” by Jeanne Ray. I think I actually heard about it from another food blogger, but I can’t remember who. But since it combined reading and recipes, I fell in love. And there is one quote from the book that I really loved and I totally, 100% agree with:

Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always one person at the table who holds up her hand when I serve the cake. No, really, I couldn’t, she says, and then gives her flat stomach a conspiratorial little pat. Everyone who is pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declines the plate, and they all think, That person is better than I am. That person has discipline. But that isn’t a person with discipline, that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy. A slice of cake never made anybody fat. You don’t eat the whole cake. You don’t eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what’s served on the happiest days of your life.

Cake does make me happy. And by the time I was finished reading this book, I was hungry for cake. Lucky for me, many recipes of the cakes that are talked about in the book were included at the end of the book. I had a hard time deciding which recipe to make, but I finally decided on this Pistachio Cake. Yes, it may look like not much, but believe me – this is simplicity in it’s finest. Maybe it’s not a cake that you would serve at a dinner party where you really want to impress your guests, but it’s a cake that you would serve among friends. And really, those are the best kinds of cakes!!

Pistachio Cake
adapted from Eat Cake

Makes 1 13×9 cake

3/4 cup shelled natural pistachios (about 4 ounces. If you are using salted pistachios, omit the salt in the ingredient list.)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 13×9 inch baking pan then line it with parchment paper. Then butter the parchment paper. Dust with flour.

Put the pistachios in a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Be careful not to pulse so much that they turn into a paste, though. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Pulse once or twice to mix.

In a mixing cup, combine the milk and the vanilla.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until it is pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at at time, beating well in between each addition. Add the pistachio flour and milk in batches alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture while mixing at low speed. Mix just until combined.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pan. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the outside of the cake and invert it on the cooling rack. Remove the paper and transfer to a serving platter.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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21 Responses to Pistachio Cake

  1. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy says:

    I love that quote too! So true! This looks fantastic and thanks for the review.

  2. Joanne says:

    That is one awesome quote! I think people often forget that one decadent meal on one day with one dessert is not going to hurt them. Or make them fat. Ever.

    Getting that happy feeling inside. Totally worth it.

    I love this cake. Pistachio. Yum.

  3. kat says:

    Wow, book #47, that is great! I've been trying to carve an hour before bed each day to read & it has really increased my reading this year too.

    I adore nut cakes & bet this one is so good.

  4. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    I love cake. That quote is so true! A delicious cake.



  5. Susi says:

    Love that quote! The cake looks and sounds great, I would enjoy having a piece of it anytime with a cup of coffee!

  6. Pam says:

    Right on with the quote! The cake looks delicious and I must make it for my SIL when she comes for a visit as she loves pistachios and cake too! Happy, happy!

  7. Evan B says:

    The cake sounds delicious and the quote is so right! How can you be truly happy if you don't enjoy the good things in life like cake 🙂

    And I just added that book to my Amazon list.

  8. hannah {thepastrykook} says:

    wow! 47th book for the year?? you are awesome!

  9. Jennifurla says:

    Thanks for sharing that quote, I totally agree!

    Congrats on all of your reading, I am impressed.

  10. Ingrid says:

    Amen! I'm gonna check out that book. I haven't seen it before.

    I bet that cake was yummy. I like pistachios and have ground and used them in blondies.

  11. Barbara says:

    Sounds like a good book…love that quote, it's so true!
    I'm reading one about food as well, called Heat, fun book so far, also recommended by a blogger.

    I'm very fond of pistachios…so this cake is quite appealing. And cake makes me happy too.

  12. Kim says:

    Congrats to you….you really surpassed your goal of 12 books. That's great!
    This sounds like a wonderful book and I must say that I never turn down a piece of cake:)
    This one looks unique and delicious. I love pistachios.

  13. eatme_delicious says:

    I love that quote from the book! Though the problem is when you're the one who made the cake and have to go home with leftovers, it's hard to not eat the entire cake haha. This pistachio cake sounds delicious. I so rarely bake with pistachios.

  14. Emily says:

    That was one of my goals for the new year too, but sadly I have failed. I'm not done trying yet, though!

    This cake sounds yummy. I'm going to look for that book you recommended.

  15. Monet says:

    I read quite a bit, and I've heard great things about that book…I need to check it out from the library. What a beautiful cake! I love pistachios, and I can imagine they are even better in cake form.

  16. FireintheBreeze (Brittany) says:

    This quote literally made me almost want to cry. It's so true and beautiful and relevant for women these days. Plus, it really reflects the French Paradox 🙂

  17. Natalie says:

    I'm a HUGE reader as well—you've really blown your goal out of the water! 🙂 Love it! I've enjoyed combining my love for food and books–I suggest you check out A Homemade Life as well!

  18. grace says:

    pistachios are SO GOOD–i'm surprised they don't get used more often in baked goods. great cake recipe–i'll have to check out that book, as it sounds like a nice pool-side read. 🙂

  19. Abby says:

    Sounds like a great book – I'm adding it to my library list! And yes, the right cake is pretty awesome (even if I *am* a pie person.)

  20. Heather says:

    I love this quote! A little cake every now and then never hurt anybody!

    Wow! For how many books you have read this year! I challenged myself to finally read the Harry Potter series and I am just now finishing book 4! I love to read and really wish I had more time to do so.

  21. kuriouskitteh says:

    You make such pretty, pretty things. That book sounds amazing, thanks for sharing hat quote =). Once I find my library card I am definitely going to look that up.
    I don't know if you've already seen these, but they might help fuel your reading addiction:
    I also particularly love your description about the best kinds of cake, it's too true!

    ~Kurious Kitteh

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