Week 10: Pistachio Cake with Honey Apples

I’ve had boxed cake in the back of my mind for a while now. Before you start to question my cake-baking scruples, I want to point out that nowhere in the Sweet Sweet Love parameters does it state that I cannot phone a friend, aka dial up my girl Betty Crocker.

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If there was ever a week to make a box cake, this would have been it. I traveled to Michigan over the weekend and was welcomed back to Chicago with back to back booked weeknights. Not ideal for baking a cake, letting it cool and eagerly waiting for the perfect Saturday morning light to snap a few pictures. however, I didn’t want to give into cake mix just yet!

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Early in the week I assessed the ingredients I happened to already have in my pantry. I was not trying to make a last minute grocery trip before leaving for the weekend.

Apples, honey, pistachios and all the usual cake fixings…. what to make, what to make? Got it! All in One Pistachio Cake Topped with Sliced Apple. Finding this recipe was a true google miracle.

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I seem to have a knack for selecting recipes written in unfamiliar baking metrics. I’m no master pastry chef, but I do know that 120 grams of butter and 120 grams of sugar do not work out to be the same volume wise. For easy conversions, I ended up referring to this super helpful chart, which I will definitely be referring to throughout the rest of the challenge.

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Likewise, the way this recipe is written really frustrated me. The source advises to dump everything into the same bowl and cream. DO NOT DO THIS! Once my dad and I decided to make my mom an apple sauce cake for her birthday and we didn’t read the directions and dumped everything into a massive bowl and mixed. My mom, a total sweetheart and my main source of culinary inspiration, acted as if it was the best cake she’d ever tasted. Meanwhile, I battled with the internal embarrassment of serving a gummy over mixed undercooked cake. gross.

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Thankfully I learned my lesson then that you must cream the butter and sugar together, add in eggs one by one and then alternate your dry mixture (sifted or stirred with a whisk to thoroughly incorporate all leavening agents and spices) with milk, thus avoiding any major baking catastrophe repeats.

I was so happy I deviated from the recipe’s directions because this cake was incredible! People are beginning to ask me what cakes are my favorites, and while this one was not my favorite (see Week 8), I definitely prefer all the cakes with ground pistachio tucked into the batter. The nutty texture and floral flavor put me in a cake nirvana every time.

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Right after photographing, I packed up a slice to eat in my lunch. Before snapping on the lid, I allowed myself one bite. And then another. Before I knew it I had eaten the entire slice and half a slice more. It was that good.

Final Thoughts on Pistachio Apple Cake:

  • Wet, then dry. Always.
  • Every cake should have pistachio.
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