Written by Rae
I made another pound cake, otherwise known as a “gateau de voyage” in French, which I found in the book Dessert Solutions by Mercotte. If you don’t know Mercotte, she’s a bit like France’s Martha Stewart, except only for pastry. This cake uses two different batters, which are layered in a loaf pan to create a marbled effect. The yellow batter is the pistachio batter, made with pistachio paste, and the red batter is made with raspberry puree (which I found for 7,000 W at Bangsan Market).
This cake was light and fluffy. For me, the pistachio part tasted very similar to a cake made with almond flour, except lighter. It was nutty and sweet. The raspberry part added a nice fruity twist, and it gave the effect as if it had just been spread with jam. I put a little bit of red food coloring in the raspberry batter to make the color pop, and I wish I had done the same for the pistachio part. I actually do think it would have added to the taste and experience (psychologically) of eating the cake – kind of like red velvet cake. This cake would be perfect with green tea, which is exactly the way I ate it. Even though I had made this in a relatively small loaf pan, I gave a good chunk of it away to my friend, so we wouldn’t eat it all.
For this cake, I made my own pistachio paste by candying the pistachios and grinding them in our food processor, which broke in the process. I used Pierre Herme’s recipe, which can easily be found on other blogs. The only thing I changed about the recipe, was that I peeled the pistachios before hand in order to make the paste greener. To do this, I had to stick the pistachios in boiling water for a few minutes, and then rub the skins off. I didn’t like this method, though because it made the pistachios water-logged and they ended up browning when I toasted/dried them in the oven, anyway. Next time I will skip this step and just go straight to toasting.
The paste turned out pretty well, however unlike other nut pastes that I’ve made, you have to add oil to the pistachio paste for it to be a smooth consistency. I think I ended up adding more than 2 tablespoons of oil, which was the recommended amount. It also wasn’t as green as I thought, but thanks to Light Room, it looks a lot greener. In the cake, you need to add food coloring for the green to really pop, otherwise it just looks like a normal yellow cake.
Here is what the finished loaf looked like. Nice and brown on the outside. I was actually worried for a little bit I had burnt the cake (I hadn’t) because nut flour tends to burn easily, so I was wondering if that was one characteristic of adding the pistachio paste to the flour. The only thing I would change about making this cake next time is to add some green food coloring, and maybe swirl a knife between the batters to give it an even more marbled effect.