Pistachio & Rose Layer Cake
SERVES: 10 | PREP: 45 mins | COOK: 20 mins, plus cooling
225 g/8 oz soft light brown sugar
22 5 g/8 oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
165 g/5. oz self-raising flour
65 g/2. oz ground almonds
. tsp ground cinnamon
see ds from 6 green cardamom pods, crushed
ROSE MASCARPONE FROSTING
750 g/1 lb 10 oz mascarpone cheese
150 g/5. oz icing sugar
. tsp rosewater
3 d rops pink food colouring (optional)
40 g/1. oz pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
1 t bsp dried rose petals or fresh edible rose petals, to decorate (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease three 20-cm/8-inch round springform cake tins and line with baking paper.
2. Using a hand-held electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat the brown sugar and butter together in a large bowl until well mixed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Sprinkle a little of the flour in with each egg to prevent the mixture splitting.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, almonds and cinnamon together, then stir the crushed cardamom seeds into the flour mixture.
4. Fold the flour mixture into the eggs until incorporated. Divide between the prepared tins, level the tops and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
5. To make the frosting, put the mascarpone cheese into a large bowl and beat with a hand-held electric mixer or wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the icing sugar, rosewater and enough food colouring, if using, to give a very pale pink colour. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
6. Pipe one third of the frosting over one of the cakes in small minaret-shaped rounds, then sprinkle with pistachio nuts. Add another cake and pipe over half the remaining frosting in rounds, followed by more pistachio nuts. Add the final cake, then pipe rounds over it in a design of your choice, before sprinkling with the remaining pistachio nuts and the rose petals, if using.