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‘Le Marais’ Olive Oil and Pistachio Cake

The candied pistachios can be made two days in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.


Makes one 8-inch round cake

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
½ cup pistachio flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
¼ cup unflavored, nondairy coffee creamer

Candied pistachios:
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
3 teaspoons hot water
½ cup shelled pistachios
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

6 large eggs yolks
1 cup citrus-flavored liquor, such as triple sec
⅓ cup granulated sugar
Zest of ½ lemon
Zest of ½ orange

To make the cake:

1) Preheat the oven to 350° F.

2) Grease an 8-inch diameter cake pan with oil and then lightly dust with flour, knocking out any excess. Place the all-purpose flour, pistachio flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine. Place the eggs, orange zest, lemon zest, and creamer in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until the batter is light yellow. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the oil until fully incorporated.

Image by Martim Meirelles

3) Keeping the mixer on low speed, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake in the oven until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

To make the candied pistachios:

1) Preheat the oven to 350° F.

2) Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

3) Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Spread the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for about eight minutes, or until the nuts turn a caramel color.

4) Let the nuts cool completely and then break them apart by hand.

To make the sabayon:

1) Place an 8-quart saucepan on the stovetop over low heat. Fill the pan one-quarter full with water and bring to a simmer. Place the yolks, liquor and sugar in a glass, stainless steel or non-reactive bowl and whisk well to combine.

2) Make a water bath by placing the bowl over the simmering water. Whisking consistently, cook until the mixture becomes rich, thick and foamy. The sabayon is ready when you can run your finger down the middle of the batter and a streak is left behind. NOTE: When cooking the sabayon, periodically remove the bowl from the water bath to keep the egg mixture from becoming too hot and cooking the eggs, which will create lumps. The sauce should be hot, but not so hot that you can’t comfortably put your finger (clean I hope) into it.

3) If you are not using the sabayon immediately, hold it in a thermos until ready to use.

4) To serve, spoon a small amount of the sabayon onto a plate. Cut a slice of cake and place it over the sauce. Spoon a small amount of sauce over the top of the cake and then sprinkle with candied pistachio.

Recipe used with permission from “Le Marais: A Rare Steakhouse…Well Done,” by Mark Hennessey and Jose Meirelles (Gefen Publishing House).


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