Well, so much for my plans to take pictures and post about my Thanksgiving this year! Things have been so hectic with me between work, preparing for T-giving, and organizing a 50-person party for my grandmother’s 80th birthday. I also still need to make goodies and send a package to my Blogging By Mail partner. Too much to do! At least on Thanksgiving the Apple, Parsnip, and Sausage dressing I made was well received, as was my variation on a Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cake. If I make the stuffing again, I will use only sweet sausage rather than sweet and hot, and perhaps cut down the meat a little – it was my first time making sausage dressing, and I would have preferred it to be a little less sausagey. The parsnip/apple combination is grand, though, and I’ll have to come up with more ways to pair those two up. The icebox cake was extremely rich and quite good – the main difference from the original recipe was that I made a slightly thicker mousse and soaked the inner ladyfingers in plenty of espresso. The result was something akin to tiramisu but with chocolate mousse instead of mascarpone. The presentation was lovely, just like the picture – so if you’re looking to impress but don’t want to put much time into a dessert, I urge you to try making it.
Meanwhile, here’s a not-so-great photograph of a genuinely great recipe for a pistachio cardamom cake I made a month or so ago when things were slightly less busy. It’s very easy to whip up and is just perfect with tea or coffee. Given that I’m already madly in love with cardamom, when it’s mixed up with pistachio and butter in this cake… swoon. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Pistachio Cardamom Cake
1 cup unsalted pistachios
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 scant cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grind pistachios in a food processor until fine. Mix nuts with flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom. Cream together butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at at time and beat until fully incorporated. Mix in milk and vanilla, then add flour and pistachio mixture in two or three batches and mix until just combined.
Pour batter into a 9-inch round cake pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick emerges cleanly from the middle. Sift powdered sugar over the top if desired. The cake is wonderful plain or served with fruit such as orange segments or strawberries.