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With whipped ricotta, lemon curd, and berries, this showstopping cake brings the 'wow' factor.

| By Rachael Thompson | Journal

Miss Trixie’s Pistachio Cake With Edible Flowers Is the Dessert of Your Dreams

With whipped ricotta, lemon curd, and berries, this showstopping cake brings the 'wow' factor.

Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favorite home cooks. For this instalment, baking queen Alice Bennett of Miss Trixie Drinks Tea shares her recipe for a pistachio cake with whipped ricotta, lemon curd, and berries.

Ingredients

Pistachio cake

  • 1 1/4 cups shelled pistachios
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Whipped ricotta

  • 1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon zest


Lemon curd

  • 8 medium lemons
  • 1 3/4 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 8 eggs lightly beaten


Toppings

  • Berries of your choice
  • Edible flowers
  • Maraschino cherries

Method

For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 290°F, fan forced.
  • Line and grease three 6-inch round tins with greaseproof paper.
  • Place pistachios in a food processor and pulse until finely ground, but small chunks of pistachio still remain.
  • In a separate bowl, sift and whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, caster sugar and vanilla. Mix until the colour of the butter has lightened to a creamy colour.
  • Add in the eggs one at a time and mix after each addition.
  • Add alternative batches of your flour mix and buttermilk into the butter, mixing on low speed until the cake batter is well combined, but not overmixed.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as required.
  • Gently fold in the ground pistachios.
  • Evenly spoon the batter into your three tins.
  • Bake the cakes for 40-45 minutes (baking time may vary depending on your oven!), or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre. Wait 15 minutes before turning the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the whipped ricotta

  • Add your ricotta and butter to a food processor and pulse until the ricotta is smooth and there are no lumps.
  • Add your icing sugar in small batches, and blitz until smooth.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  • Store the whipped ricotta in an airtight container until you are ready to assemble your cake.

For the lemon curd

  • Start by grating the lemon rind into a bowl and then slowly add the juice of all the lemons.
  • Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the lemon juice/rind mix, along with the sugar. Whisk together.
  • Strain the eggs into the bowl.
  • Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, then whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted.
  • Continue to cook, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Pour into a clean airtight container and immediately pop a layer of clingfilm ON the curd to prevent a skin from forming.

To assemble

  • Trim your cakes to ensure they are even and flat.
  • Add some whipped ricotta to the base of a plate or cake board and stick one layer of cake onto the ricotta.
  • Spread the whipped ricotta onto your cake and dam in your lemon curd – you essentially want a ring of ricotta around the edges of your cake and your lemon curd to sit in the middle.
  • Add berries and add the next layer of cake.
  • Repeat this process until all cake layers are stacked. Pop in the fridge to stabilise.
  • Next, spread the whipped ricotta around the outside of the cake to crumb coat your cake.
  • Pop back in the fridge for 15 minutes before adding the final layer of whipped ricotta.
  • It is at this point that you may like to add a touch of food dye to the ricotta to add some colour to your cake.
  • Pipe the edge of your cake using an open star tip.
  • Add pressed flowers to the sides of the cake and maraschino cherries on top.

For more from Alice, follow her at @misstrixiedrinkstea

Photography by Rachel Brown Photography.

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