Pistachio Rose Water Cake

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Every year, I find myself underestimating how much I love Easter. Growing up, I never got too excited over Easter, but in the past few years, I've routinely found myself freaking out once all of my favorite Easter candy hit the shelves. Seriously, I've eaten way too many white chocolate m&m's and mini cadbury eggs that it's kind of disgusting. I've inhaled so much sugar in the past few weeks, that — get ready for it — I'm actually feeling sick of sugar. I think this is a first. I feel blasphemous even admitting this. I guess you really can have too much of a good thing. 

Sugar, if you're reading this, please forgive me for not telling you to your face. It's just, I think I need a little space right now. Consider this relationship open. 

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Anyways, back to Easter. Though we usually have a family crawfish boil, we decided to switch it up this year. This year: a giant homemade Mediterranean feast. It was pretty damn legit if you ask me. My mom slaved over a roasted leg of lamb and yogurt-marinated chicken with lemony greek potatoes. Homemade hummus with not-homemade pita. Oops. Rice pilaf loaded with pine nuts and grilled asparagus. 

And as if that wasn't enough, we had TWO desserts. My mom made Galaktompoureko, a creamy Greek custard pie with phyllo that's soaked in orange syrup. Then I made this cake. Can we get a moment of silence for this cake, please. 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you. 

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I've been having horrible cravings for pistachio and rose water since the winter. I've even made a couple of cakes that all turned out to be not what I was looking for. But then, it dawned on me that I could take one of my favorite yogurt cake recipes, add some pistachio paste to it, and call it a day. After months of trying to find the perfect pistachio cake, I have finally satisfied my craving. This is it. The cake is light and moist with the most perfect crumb. (Really though, I've never made a cake that had such a perfectly-balanced crumb before.) The pistachio is flavorful throughout and pairs perfectly with the rose water glaze without being overpowering. And god, was it simple.

There's nothing too fancy needed for this recipe, save for pistachio paste. You can make your own pistachio paste at home in your food processor or purchase a jar of the good stuff online like I did. 

Okay, if I don't shut up about this cake I swear I'm going to want sugar again. I've got a busy week ahead of me. I go back to school tomorrow, but then I'm off to Florida for a wedding on Wednesday. I can't even begin to express how excited I am to be at the beach for an extra extra-long weekend. 

Brb y'all, I'll be back with some crazy recipes for you next week! In the meantime, make this and freak out like I did. 

Pistachio Yogurt Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (I used half plain, half vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup pistachio paste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9" round cake pans or a bundt pan. 

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until blended. Mix in vanilla. 

Mix in half of the dry ingredients, then half of the yogurt, then the remaining half of the dry ingredients, and then the rest of the yogurt. Stir in the pistachio paste. 

Pour the batter into prepared pans. If using 9" rounds, bake for 30-40 minutes. If using a bundt pan, bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool and remove from pan(s). 

Rose Water Glaze 

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. rose water

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together until a glaze is formed. Drench over the base of the cake. (Note: Poking holes in the cake makes it super yummy too!) Top with crushed pistachios. Serve.

Banana Split Cake

I've been a bit absent from the internet since last week. I'm alive, don't worry!

Last weekend was the beginning of my much needed spring break. I know I've said it before, but this semester has been absolutely terrible for me. (Leave it to me to start off a blog post bitching!) But honestly, I have never been as stressed as I have been in the past few months. I keep telling myself that all of my hard work and crazy long days are going to pay off. That's how it goes, right? 

Anyways, I've been working like a machine since January and desperately needed time to just be. That's exactly what I've done — absolutely nothing. None of my friends have the same spring break at me, and my house is pretty empty most days, so I've been pretty much alone all break. With that said, I should probably be working on the two papers, homework assignments, and projects I have due next week, but what's the fun in that? 

I even tried baking a bunch of new recipes, but nothing really stood out enough to post. That should be a good indicator of the funk I'm in right now. That was until I made this.    

So I've recently become totally obsessed with ice cream. I've never been that head over heels for ice cream; I'm a much bigger froyo and gelato fan. But for some reason (that reason being my new tradition of monthly trips to Creole Creamery, New Orleans' best ice cream parlor), I've found myself totally infatuated with ice cream. 

Being the obsessive/addictive personality I am, I naturally decided to order my own ice cream maker and three special cookbooks at midnight a few days back. Yolo??? (If you have any amazing ice cream recipes, please send them my way!) 

Anyways, ice cream has been fresh on my mind for the past few weeks. I've been itching to bake something ice cream-inspired. Thus, the banana split cake was born! 

This cake is indulgent in every sense of the word.

The base is made up of one of my absolute favorite cakes ever. This banana cake is crazy moist and always delicious. The frosting though. That's some good shit. Vanilla bean paste + half and half are added to butter and powdered sugar to make the most amazing vanilla bean buttercream that tastes like melted ice cream. In between each layer is fruit (either strawberries or pineapple), hot fudge, crushed nuts, and waffle cone pieces. If that wasn't enough, I covered the whole cake with even more hot fudge, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries. Can you say sugar coma?!

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banana cake 

adapted from Food.com

  • 1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/8 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 275°. Grease and flour three 9" round cake pans. 

In a bowl, mix together the mashed bananas and lemon juice. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla.

Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix in the banana mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick placed into the cake comes out clean. (Note: the cake make take a little more or a little less time to bake depending on your oven. The best bet is to check it 5-10 minutes before just to make sure it's all good!) Cool. 

vanilla bean buttercream frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons. half and half 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and salt until creamy. Gradually mix in sugar. Once all sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla bean paste and half and half. Mix. 

sundae extras + assembly 

  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, sliced
  • 1 banana, sliced 
  • hot fudge, storebought or homemade 
  • chopped nuts — I purchased a "Nut Topping" mix intended for ice cream sundaes. 
  • waffle cone pieces 
  • whipped cream
  • maraschino cherries

Place one cooled cake layer on serving plate or cake stand. Spread the layer with prepared frosting. Top layer with sliced strawberries, nuts, and hot fudge. 

Place the next layer on top. Frost. Top with pineapple, nuts, and hot fudge.

Place the final on top. Frost the entire outside of the cake. Once frosted, top with hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, cherries. Serve slices with extra nuts and waffle cone pieces.