This is pretty fancy compared to the usual home cooking things I do. I saw it in Good Housekeeping and I thought I’d make it; although some of the ingredients are a bit different to the basic ones you may have in your house, they are quite simple to put together and there isn’t much washing up.
I’ve had a look on the Good Housekeeping website and I can’t see the recipe so I’ll give a basic outline of it so you can try to recreate this gorgeous loaf at home.
This recipe calls for crushed pistachios; since our local supermarket is tiny and doesn’t sell nuts that are already ground, we used the grinder setting on our food mixer, which gave a much finer powder than when I ground some in the pestle and mortar. However you do it, they are an undeniably fabulous colour!
So, the ingredients;
- 9½ fl oz hot, strong tea; I used Earl Grey as it’s got a floral-like taste, but English Breakfast will do just fine.
- 4 oz dried figs, roughly chopped
- 4 oz dried apricots roughly chopped
- 4 oz light brown soft sugar
- 10 green cardamom pods; if you aren’t so keen on the flavour then maybe use a few less (or this loaf just might not be for you).
- 3 oz ground pistachios
- 7 oz self-raising flour
- 5 oz icing sugar
- Pink food colouring (but this isn’t essential)
- 1 oz chopped pistachios, maybe a few rose petals; basically, go crazy on the decorating and make it as colourful and pinterest-worthy as you can!
Okay, so get your ingredients together. I made the mistake of reading the recipe as I went through which resulted in a panicked dash to the shops for pistachios.
- Make up the hot tea in a measuring jug. Earl Grey is a delicate flavour, so you’re going to want to make it strong so it can be tasted through the spice. To this, add the sugar and mix it until the sugar has dissolved. Add the fruit to this and leave it to soak for a few hours; overnight is best but I only left mine for an hour or two.
- This is a slow-cooking loaf so pre-set the oven to a low heat of gas mark 2/150°C/13o°C fan. Butter a 2lb baking tin and line it with baking paper.
- Now the pestle and mortar are getting involved; the stress-relieving bit. Thinking of all the times you’ve wanted to go crazy, wack open those cardamom pods, remove the husks and grind those seeds down to a powder. Once you’ve done this, add the seeds to a larger bowl, sift in the flour and mix them together with the pistachios. It smells heavenly.
- Add the soaked fruit mix and the eggs, and mix like bonkers until it’s all combined. Then put it into the tin.
- Bake it for 1h 20m – 1h 30m, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let it cool for a few minutes in the tin, then turn it out onto a cooling rack.
- When it’s cool (or you’re bored of waiting), mix up the icing sugar with some water until it’s (and I quote) “a thick but spreadable consistency”. Add the dye if you want it and pour the icing over the cake, letting it dribble down the sides (this gives it a rustic look and means you can eat some of the runaway icing).
- Sprinkle the pistachios over the top, throw a few rose petals on there; go nuts (no pun intended). Let this set before slicing and serving.
And here it is!!! When you dribble the icing on, make sure you have a board or something underneath to catch the drips.