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This moist sponge cake tastes like a mouthful of Christmas – full of warm, heady spices and brilliant green nuts. The recipe is a bit different as it replaces some of the butter with sour cream to give a light texture with plenty of rich flavour. After baking the cake is brushed with warm apricot jam and topped with more pistachios, but it is also very good eaten as a dessert: warm from the oven with a compote of plums or cherries and a spoonful of yogurt - delicious!
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes
1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas4.
2. Using an electric whisk or a free-standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg.
3. Sift the flour with all the spices and the bicarbonate of soda onto the mixture.
4. Add the sour cream and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chopped nuts. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly.
5. Bake in the heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
6. Stand the tin on a wire cooling rack and run a round-bladed knife gently around the inside of the tin to loosen the cake. Leave to cool for 15 minutes then carefully remove from the tin.
7. When completely cool brush the top with the warm melted apricot jam and then scatter with the pistachios.
8. Beat eaten within 3 days - store in an airtight container.
Makes one medium cake
100g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
1 large free-range egg, at room temperature, beaten to mix
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
250g Marriage’s Finest Plain Flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
225ml sour cream
100g shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons apricot jam, melted with a teaspoon of water
1 tablespoon chopped unsalted pistachios
20.5cm/ 8in square cake tin, greased and base-lined