Beela Bakes is 1 today!
One year ago I tentatively wrote my first blog post entry in true cringe-worthy style (its ok, you don't have to see it, really!). This blog was supposed to serve as a small outlet, somewhere to show off and share my little culinary kitchen adventures in baking to family and friends, which had become a new found hobby post-marriage. It slowly and evidently turned into a mission to improve my skills, take up food photography and styling (obviously still learning!), and now I can't go a day without thinking up new ideas, or wanting to try out a recipe, or simply just thinking about FOOD!
And now a year has been and gone...! I have to admit I've been dying to use the word 'blogiversary' and it definitely feels good to be able to do so for the first time!
And what better way to celebrate than with a cake!
I've been thinking about this day for a few months now and envisioned a very grand, over the top, completely whimsical cake at first. But November is a completely birthday/celebration-laden month for me, and there is only soo much cake and frosting that even I can eat! So as the days drew nearer I knew I wanted something a lot more pared down but still 'pretty' enough to be deemed a birthday cake.
Thus the pistachio layer cake with rose mascarpone frosting was born! Four layers of soft, nutty, pistachio, pastel green cake, sandwiched together with a beautifully fragrant, light rose mascarpone frosting, and topped with pistachio kernels and dried roses for decoration. Infact in many ways I would also say this cake is very 'me' - cute and girly, but not in a fussy way, and with two of my favourite colours green and pink! Its a simple elegant cake not crying out for attention, but effortlessly pretty.
If I'm perfectly honest though, pistachio and rose cakes are kind of everywhere here in the UAE right now. If you follow a number of home-made established baking businesses in Dubai, you would know the pistachio rose cakes tend to be the most popular sellers. Its definitely a cake flavour combination I've been wanting to try out for a while and quintessentially Middle Eastern in essence.
I did of course make this cake completely my own though. As I mentioned there has been far too much cake for me the past couple of weeks, and after a while buttercream frosting becomes a bit too richly sweet to handle!
....Bring in the mascarpone frosting. Its light, airy, with almost a fresh cream like taste to it, but still has a strong enough consistency that you can spread it easily. Plus it only needs a little icing sugar added to sweeten it. Flavour it with rose water and a little pretty pink food colouring and you have a gorgeously delicate filling. Perfect! From now on I will always use mascarpone as a frosting base for when I'm looking for a less sugary way to cover my cakes!
As for the cake itself, its nutty in the best way and although it doesn't seem so from the amount of sugar in the recipe, is similarly not over-bearingly sweet. Its still moist enough to be considered a cake, but with a lot of pistachio flavor. You don't need to add any green colouring, as the brilliant green from the pistachios gives the cake its colour for you. Whats more, taste-wise I actually think this recipe would make the perfect tea-time cake as opposed to the usual rich decadent birthday cake!
I want to thank all of you who come by and visit my blog, and check out my recipes. Whether you are someone I know, or a mere traveller passing by in the blogosphere, I do hope you enjoyed what you have seen here and hopefully like to come back again. Thanks to all the people who follow my Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram too! And of course thanks to my family for being my constant taste-testers!! I have lots of recipes up my sleeve already for the coming new blog year and intend to carry on this blog for as long as I can!
But enough about that, go and try this cake, see how good it is for yourself, and remember Beela Bakes when you do :)
Pistachio Layer Cake with Rose Mascarpone Frosting
For the pistachio cake:
Makes 4 thin cake layers, or 2 thick
240g all-purpose flour
320g caster sugar
125g pistachios, finely ground
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup water
Half cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 180C, and line 4 small cake tins, or 2 medium ones.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, pistachios, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
3. Whisk together the egg yolks, water, melted butter and vanilla, and then mix into the dry ingredients.
4. In a mixer or with a whisk, beat the egg whites until fluffy and soft peaks have formed. Mix in the baking soda with just a couple of folds of a spoon.
5. Fold in the egg whites to the cake mixture, and pour equally into cake tins. Bake for between 20-25 for thin layers, or 30 minutes for the thicker layers, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6. Leave to cool before assembling with rose mascarpone frosting.
For the Rose Mascarpone Frosting:
500g mascarpone (2 x 250g tub)
1/2 cup icing sugar
4 tsp rose water
Pink food gel
Pistachio kernels and dried roses, for decoration
1. Combine together the mascarpone and icing sugar using an electric whisk, and then add the rose water until well mixed. Lastly add the pink food gel to tint to your desired shade.
2. Use a spatula to spread, or a piping bag to pipe the rose mascarpone onto each cake layer.
3. Assemble the cake together, and frost the top with another layer of mascarpone. Leave the sides exposed or cover with more frosting if desired.
4. Sprinkle pistachio kernels over the top, and decorate with dried roses.
N.B. Keep cake stored in the fridge in an airtight container.