Michael Solomonov, co-owner of Zahav in Philadelphia, made this incredibly moist, flavorful cake as dessert for one of the Suppers as part of the 2018 Sips & Supers fundraiser for Martha’s Table and DC Central Kitchen. Chef Solomonov served it with sachlab, a Middle Eastern vanilla pudding, and persimmons macerated in sugar and rosewater, then left to sit three hours. It tastes just as good with other toppings suggested below or just plain on its own. Note that this cake batter should be made the day before you want to serve the cake. Letting the batter rest overnight allows it to hydrate thoroughly, resulting in a cake that is very moist and tender.
- ½ cup plus ⅓ cup almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1¼ cup shelled pistachios
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1¼ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons pistachio paste*
- 2 large eggs plus 3 egg whites
- Combine the almond flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. In a food processor, pulse the pistachios and cornstarch together until the nuts are finely ground, but not so long that it turns into a paste. Add the nut mixture to the flour mixture and set aside.
- Combine the butter, sugar, and pistachio paste in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about ten minutes. Add the whole eggs and egg whites one at a time, beating to incorporate each before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the almond flour mixture and mix on low speed, periodically scraping down the bowl so the ingredients are fully incorporated. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The following day, let the batter come to room temperature before baking (should take at least two hours). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and line it with a greased piece of parchment. Stir the batter thoroughly to deflate any air pockets and pour into the greased pan. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool.
- Serve the cake with fresh or stewed fruit, whipped cream, sweetened ricotta cheese or your choice of frosting.
- *Pistachio paste can be found in Middle Eastern or gourmet shops, online or homemade by grinding shelled pistachios into find crumbs and slowly adding just enough water to create a smooth paste.