Strawberry, Pistachio and Lime Cakes
These scrumptious, bite-sized cakes are an absolute explosion of flavor and perfect with a cup of tea. The pistachio gives them a soft and springy texture and subtle nutty flavor that combines perfectly with the sweet, jammy strawberry on top and the zing of fresh lime. Gluten Free.
celebration • sweet treat • spring / SUMMER
I made these little tea cakes the other day for taking to the beach.
They are small and durable enough to be tucked into a picnic basket or beach bag and are the perfect treat after a swim, stretched out on a blanket while you dry out in the sun.
Also, there is just something so light-hearted about these cakes. With their hint of pale green and whisper of lime, it feels that somehow all the carefree sensations of summer have been whisked into the batter along with the butter and eggs. It’s the kind of cake that is meant to be eaten in the sunshine, out of doors, without anything very pressing to think of.
The recipe is essentially that of a financier (or a Friand if you are Australian); a French tea cake made with ground almonds, melted (often browned) butter and egg whites. In this case, I have subbed in pistachio meal for the almond, but the result is largely the same; a delectable little cake with a lovely, springy texture and nutty flavor.
Traditionally, financiers were baked in a special tin* (like a mini loaf) so that the cakes would resemble individual gold bars — thus the bankish sounding name. Not having such a thing knocking about my kitchen, I opted for a vintage muffin tin that I scored off of Etsy a few years back (yes, I do collect vintage kitchen equipment and I am one of those people). The holes in this tin are perfect for bite size cakes: about 1 inch deep and 2 inches across. I’ve found a similar sized tin for you here* if you want to replicate the size exactly, as I know vintage muffin tins might not be the easiest thing to just nip out to the shop and find.
Alternatively, you can also just bake this in any regular old muffin tin. I’d suggest not filling the cups all the way full if you opt for this option, as the high proportion of nut meal makes these quite filling. I think they work much better as a little bite sized nibble, but of course that is just my opinion. Do what suits you best.
But you must promise me one thing: eat these in the sun, and let go of as many of your cares as you can before tucking in. I’m not saying you have to venture to the Caribbean here, but a little sunshine and a deep breath can make all the difference. Just saying.
*These are affiliate links
Pistachio, strawberry and lime cakes
Total time: 35 minutes
Makes 12 small cakes
1/2 cup (90 g) shelled, unsalted pistachios
1/3 cup (60 g) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (100 g) cane sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 egg whites, beaten lightly until foamy
7 tbsp (100 g) butter, melted
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 tsp powdered vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
4 strawberries, tops removed and thinly sliced
1/8 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly grease a shallow muffin tin or line with papers.
Place the pistachios in a coffee or spice grinder and process into a fine meal.
Place the pistachio meal in a bowl and combine with the rice flour, sugar and salt.
Beat in the egg whites until the mixture is smooth, then add the melted butter, lime zest, lime juice and vanilla and stir again until everything is well incorporated.
Divide the mixture evenly between 12 muffin cups and then top each cake with a sliced strawberry and a sprinkling of chopped pistachios.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle of a cake comes out dry. Allow to cool completely.
The recipe can also be baked in a regular sized muffin tin, but will yield 8 instead of 12. You will also need to increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes.
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