Last night I had two very special friends round for a meal and a sleepover- a rare luxury! Joe went and stopped at granny and grandpa’s overnight, leaving us to have a much needed adults only evening without the worry of waking the little one up! (although he didn’t do much sleeping at granny and grandpa’s….but thats another story!)
It was a bit of a special/sad occasion as one of my good friends is leaving to pastures new, starting afresh after a difficult period in her life. I wish her all the luck in the world on her new adventure but I will definitely miss having her around. Although I didn’t see her all the time I think her infectious laugh, her open mindedness and her fun loving personality will be greatly missed in these parts.
So to celebrate her new adventures and to commiserate her leaving we threw a Morrocan themed dinner, with a lamb and prune tagine (which happens to be her favourite and I never new!) and cous cous, and the yoghurt cake with pistachios pictured below.
This cake is from the first Moro book originally but I got the recipe from the book called “How to feed your friends with relish” by the food writer Joanna Weinberg.
I was a bit dubious about it at first as it doesn’t really have the texture or consistency of a traditional cake and contains only a tsp of flour! It is more like a thick custard like you would get on an egg custard tart but very aromatic and delicate in flavour. It was actually very tasty served with thick greek yoghurt on the side which I drizzled with golden syrup (honey would have been better but I had none of that!) The cake is to be eaten at room temperature with a side of cold, thick, creamy yoghurt so it is best to make it a few hours in advance of serving to allow it to reach room temperature. I made mine is a spring form hart shaped baking tin, but it will fit a 25cm round or square cake tin.
3 eggs, separated
7og caster sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest of ½ orange
1 tsp plain flour
30g/ pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
120g greek yoghurt to serve with optional honey or golden syrup to drizzle.
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas 4. Line your choice of cake tin with greaseproof paper (or use tin foil like I did as I had run out of greaseproof). Find a deep-sided baking tray that will fit the cake tin and you can use as a bain-marie. (fill the baking tray with warm water and leave to heat in preheated oven while you get on with the cake. The liquid in the bain-marie should reach half way up your cake tin when inserted.)
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with 50g of the sugar until thickened and pale. Stir in the vanilla essence, yogurt, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and flour and mix well. In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks, then add the remaining sugar and continue to whisk for a moment until it becomes glossy.
Gently fold the egg whites into the yogurt mix, then pour into the cake tin and place the cake tin inside the baking tray.
Place in the oven for 20 minutes, then sprinkle over the pistachios and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes until golden on top. Remove from the water immediately. Eat at room temperature served with an extra dollop of yogurt and optional drizzle.