Preparation time: 30 mins | Cooking: 50 minutes | Makes 1 cake
100g shelled pistachios
100g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
1-2 drops vanilla essence
8 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground (to make 1 tsp ground cardamom)
1 unwaxed lemon, zest only
80g/3½oz plain flour
60g/1oz ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
125ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line an 8 inch cake tin or 900g/2lb loaf tin.
In a food processor, pulse the pistachios and cardamom seeds to make a powder.
In a large bowl, mix together the sunflower oil and caster sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Stir until combined.
In a separate bowl, add the flour, ground pistachios and cardamom, ground almonds, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate soda. Stir until well combined then fold into the wet ingredients in the other bowl. Fold in the milk.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Heat the juice of 2 lemons and 100g icing sugar in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved, then briefly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
As soon as the cake is cooked, poke holes all over the top using a skewer. Pour over the hot syrup and leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes.
When the cake is cool, remove it from the tin.
For the lemon icing, sift 75g icing sugar into a bowl and stir in 1-2 tbsp lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake.
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