With these festive colours this cake makes an exciting alternative to the usual fruit cake at Christmas. It's a recipe by Aussie chef Belinda Jeffrey and was always one of my favourites but I long ago swapped the white flour and sugar in the original recipe to their more nutritious versions which made it taste even better! Serve with natural Greek or coconut yoghurt for a really special dessert!
Why do I love this cake so much? I must admit that I'm a real lover of any type of citrusy dessert and the lime in this cake is just beautiful. It balances out the sweetness and gives the whole thing a bit of zing. I also love the pistachio flavour. The pomegranate seeds on top give you a surprising juicy burst when you bite into them. On top of all of this it's super high in the nutrient stakes, as you can see:
- Pistachio – considered in Ayurvedic medicine as an important tonic for the whole body pistachios are high in antioxidants lutein, beta-carotene and vitamin E. A number of clinical studies have found them to be beneficial for lowering oxidised LDL cholesterol in people with raised levels;
- Pomegranate – high in antioxidants and vitamin C with one pomegranate providing almost half the recommended daily vitamin C requirement!;
- Lime – contains unique flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties as well as antibiotic qualities. Limes are a very high source of vitamin C and their peel has a very beneficial action on the liver.
This is also a cake that most people can enjoy as it's gluten free, dairy free and free of refined sugar and flour.
Pomegranate & Pistachio Cake
- 60g buckwheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 100g pistachios, finely ground
- Finely grated zest of 3 large limes
- 120g almond meal
- 250g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 200g coconut sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds, to decorate
- Greek or coconut yoghurt, to serve
- 90g coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup (125ml) strained fresh lime juice (from about 3 large limes)
- 90g pistachios, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 170C. Butter a 22-24cm round cake tin and line base with buttered baking paper then dust the tin with flour.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, ground pistachios, lime zest and almond meal into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together with a balloon whisk for a minute or so, then set aside.
- Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides occasionally, until the mixture looks creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each to be well mixed in before adding the next. It will be quite a wet batter but will come together once you add the flour.
- Tip in the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until just combined – be careful not to over-mix it, or the cake may be a bit tough. Scrape batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.
- Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, or until it springs back when lightly pressed in the centre and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer it to a wire rack and leave it to cool a little in the tin.
- When the cake is lukewarm, make the syrup. To do this, put the sugar and lime juice into a small saucepan over low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Add the chopped pistachios, increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil.
- Turn cake out onto a serving plate and peel away the baking paper. Slowly spoon the hot pistachio and lime syrup evenly over the top, then leave the cake to cool completely. Just before serving, scatter it with pomegranate seeds.
- Belinda Jeffrey. (2014). Pistachio and Lime Syrup Cake with Pomegranate seeds. Available at: www.belindajeffery.com
- Mercola.com. (2016). Available at: http://www.articles.mercola.com (Accessed: 9th December 2016)
- Pitchford P. (2002). Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books. California, USA
- The world's healthiest foods. (2016). Available at: http://www.whfoods.com (Accessed: 9th December 2016)