Pistachio, orange & cardamom cake

Pistachios have the ability to ennoble cakes like no other ingredient. Their distinctive flavour and natty pink and green colouring make them an absolute joy to cook with. They also pair brilliantly with most things so I tend to throw them into cakes at every opportunity. Here, I've combined them with fragrant cardamom and spritzy orange and lime.

Serves 12

250g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
100g pistachio, finely ground
100g ground almonds
5 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tsp rosewater
60g plain flour

For the icing:
Zest and juice of 2 limes
100g icing sugar
75g pistachios, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4 and line a 22cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Cream the butter and caster sugar together until the mixture is pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture well between each addition.

Add the ground pistachios, almonds, cardamom, orange and lime zest and juice, rosewater and the flour to the creamed butter and sugar and fold through. Don’t overwork the cake batter at this point. As soon as the ingredients have come together, stop mixing.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes. When the cake is ready a skewer, stuck into the centre, will come out clean without any wet cake mixture on it. Leave the cake in its tin to cool.

To make the icing, mix the lime zest and juice together with the icing sugar to give you an icing with a consistency of double cream. If it is too thin, add a little more icing sugar. If too stiff, a squeeze more lime juice. 

When cooled, liberally cover the cake with icing and decorate with handfuls of the chopped pistachios.