Whisky and pistachio simnel cake
- April 2017
- Serves 14
- Hands-on 1 hour, oven 2¼-2½ hours, plus overnight soaking and cooling
Traditional simnel cakes can often be heavy or too sweet, but Debbie Major’s take on this Easter bake is wonderfully light, laced with whisky and topped with a pistachio marzipan.
- 27.3g (9.9g saturated)
- 78.8g (59.1g sugars)
Use the best pistachios you can get, such as Iranian green skinless pistachios from souschef.co.uk or ottolenghi.co.uk. If using shop-bought shelled pistachios, you need to blanch and dry them first. Heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. Simmer the pistachios in boiling water for 8 minutes. Drain, tip onto a clean tea towel and rub to remove the skins. Pick off any stubborn pieces of skin, then dry in the oven on a baking tray for 10 minutes (don’t let them brown).
To ensure that the layer of marzipan runs through the centre of the cake, weigh the finished cake mixture first, then spoon exactly half of it into the base of the prepared cake tin at step 5.
Make the marzipan up to a week ahead and store, wrapped in cling film, until needed. Make the cake up to a week ahead and keep in a sealed container. Decorate with the marzipan up to 24 hours before serving.
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