Sponge Cake with Cardamom, Pistachio and Cherries Cake
This is a nice not too filling summer dessert, especially with some fresh berries on the side.
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoons vanilla
5 egg yolks
8 egg whites
1 cup super fine sugar, plus 5 more tablespoons
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup of shelled pistachios
1/3 cup dried cherries
3/8 teaspoon of cardamom seeds (just the inner pods, crushed and ground)
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 350˚. Place a 10-inch two-piece tube pan in the oven to preheat (this will prevent the cake from
collapsing and give it more body).
Prepare filling by placing dried cherries, pistachios, cardamom, and sugar in a food processor and pulsing about 30 seconds.
In a small bowl combine orange juice, lemon zest and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift the cake flour with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Separate the egg yolks (reserving the 3 extra for another recipe) from the egg whites.
Beat yolks on high speed for 5 minutes, gradually adding one cup of sugar until the mixture is thick and ribboning, and is yellow-chartreuse in color. Lower the speed and gradually add the orange juice mixture, then increase to high speed for 30 seconds. Sift flour onto yolk mixture but DON’T MIX. (If using a hand mixer, thoroughly clean and dry the blades. If using a stand mixer, transfer the yolk mixture to a large mixing bowl before sifting the flour mixture over, and thoroughly clean and dry your mixer bowl).
Beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until the soft peak stage (it is important to have clean blades on your mixer when doing the egg whites, if you’re using the same mixer and there is any butter fat from the previous step, the egg whites will not stiffen). Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat until stiff but not dry.
Fold the egg whites into the cake batter with a slotted spoon in four batches. Remove the hot pan from the oven and pour in half the batter. Add 1/2 the filling and the remainder of the batter, then top with the rest of the filling. Bake for 35 minutes.
Cool cake in pan upside down on a wine bottle for at least one hour. Loosen the sides by running a metal spatula around the outside of the cake and remove the pan. Use the spatula again to loosen the bottom and inside of the cake, invert onto a plate and then again onto a cake plate. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.