An incredibly pretty cake with the fragrant super-trendy flavour of the Middle East
- 150g (5oz) pistachios
- 225g (8oz) butter, softened
- 225g (8oz) caster sugar
- 3 large, free-range eggs
- juice 1 lemon
- 4tsp rose water
- 1tsp baking powder
- 125g (4½oz) self-raising flour
- 1 pink rose, un-sprayed (check with the florist)
- 1 free-range egg white
- 3tbsp caster sugar
- icing sugar, to top
- 23cm (9in) springform cake tin, oiled and bottom lined
Make the decoration. Carefully pull the petals from the rose. Beat the egg white with a fork until it goes frothy. Using a paintbrush, lightly coat each petal with the egg white, dip in the caster sugar, shake off the excess and place on a wire rack. They should dry in 30 minutes in a cool, dry room.
For the cake, heat the oven to 150 C, 130 C fan, 300 F, gas 2. Lightly toast the pistachios in the oven until golden, allow to cool slightly, then blitz in a food processor. Remove, reserving 2tsp, then add the butter and sugar, whizz, then add the eggs one at a time while the motor is running, then the lemon juice and rose water.
Add the baking powder, flour, pistachios and a pinch of salt, and pulse until combined. The mix should be soft dropping consistency, so if it's too stiff, add a drop of milk or water.
Transfer the mix to the tin, level the top and bake in the centre of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Check after 30 minutes and cover with foil if the cake is getting too coloured. Once cooked, cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
To decorate, sift over some icing sugar, scatter over the reserved pistachios and top with the rose petals. If you want to serve it as a pudding, try it with a dollop of Greek yogurt drizzled with honey. It will keep in an airtight container for 3 days, or can be frozen undecorated.