Travel & Life Digest

Pistachio Cake with Yogurt Icing and Caramel Chunks

I have been dreaming of making this cake for about twenty years!
I remember coming home from my German class one evening, finding the leftovers of an afternoon tea party on the kitchen counter...this lovely pistachio cake with chunks of caramel was there too, right next to a pot of filter coffee. I was so hungry, that I wolfed down two pieces, with a cup of cold coffee, before my mum would see me.
It was the coffee she'd fuss about, I was in secondary school and I wasn't allowed to have any yet. Aww, it made me feel so grown up, having coffee and that so elegant-looking cake. I think it's since then that I've loved the idea of tea gatherings so much. Funny enough it's the preparation part that I enjoy the most; going through recipes, planning and baking and above all, decorating the house, laying the table, flowers, candles...and finally friends arriving!
The original recipe calls for Chantilly, instead of icing, but I find that cream in UK makes for a very thin Chantilly, which wouldn't keep it's shape unless consumed straight away, so I replaced it with yogurt icing, to pick up from the yogurt in the cake.  
- 250gr unsalted butter
- 2 cups of sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup fine semolina
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons of brandy
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup of finely crushed pistachios
- 175gr Greek yogurt
For the icing
- 3 spoonfuls of Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup of icing sugar
- A splash of vanilla essence
For the Caramel
- 1 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 spoonfuls water
Whisk the butter and sugar in a bowl or a blender, until fluffy.
Add the vanilla and the eggs, continue whisking.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, semolina and baking powder together.
Slowly start folding the flour mix into the whisked butter and eggs mix, one spoonful at a time, until there are no flour lumps.
Add the brandy, cinnamon, pistachios and yogurt to the mix and stir slowly until everything is uniformly combined.
Butter a cake tin, I used a bundt tin in this case, but it works perfectly fine with a 8inch sandwich cake tin too.
Bake for 45 minutes in 200C. After 45 minutes take the cake out of the oven and let it cool down.
Before making the caramel, lay a tissue of parchment paper on a wire rack.
For the caramel, put the sugar and water in a pan and let it slowly warm up over medium heat.
Do not stir until the sugar is starting to go brownish on the sides of the pan. Then gently stir and let the whole mixture go light brown.
Slowly pour the caramel mixture on the parchment paper and let it cool down for half an hour, or until it's completely cold.
Then you can fold the paper into itself and crack the caramel in large chunks. Alternatively, use a rolling pin to break the caramel. Whatever you do, be very careful, caramel is not to be touched hot at any point - I should know, I managed to burn my finger!
For the icing, whisk together the yogurt, icing sugar and vanilla.
When the cake has cooled down, flip it out of the bundt tin and pour the icing over it and decorate with caramel chunks.

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