PISTACHIO + ALMOND CAKE WITH SAFFRON ICING

This is a rich cake for a celebration.

Serves 6

1 cup ground pistachios
1 cup ground almonds
¾ cup self-rising flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground cardamom (or finely ground seeds from 6 pods)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons milk
½ cup unsalted butter, melted (plus extra to grease)
3 eggs

FOR THE SAFFRON CREAM FROSTING

a big pinch of saffron
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons pistachios, roughly chopped
a small handful of dried edible flowers (e.g. marigolds or rose petals)

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8- to 9-inch cake pan with lightly greased parchment paper.

Put the pistachios, almonds, flour, baking soda, sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the lemon zest, milk, and melted butter. Mix again, then beat the eggs in one by one until they’re incorporated. Transfer to the cake pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean, then leave to cool.

To make the saffron cream, place a tablespoon of just-boiled water into a small bowl with the saffron and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes (the longer the better). Put the confectioners’ sugar and butter into a bowl, and beat until smooth, light, and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, along with the saffron in its soaking liquid. Mix until just incorporated and keep in the fridge until needed.

When the cake has completely cooled, spread the saffron cream over the top and scatter over the pistachios and edible flowers.