I’m seriously thinking that I should have looked into butter futures before beginning this magazine challenge because of the amount that I’ve used. I know the Deen family is infamous for their love of butter and, let’s face it, butter does make everything taste better, but oh, my goodness. The pounds I’ve gone through is amazing.
My in-laws will be coming into town tomorrow to celebrate an early Easter with us since we’ll be in Washington, D.C. for the official weekend. I decided to make the Pistachio and Orange Butter cake to serve as dessert the first night they’re here and the Black Forest Cheesecake Trifle as the dessert with our early Easter meal.
I’m a pistachio lover, but just for pistachios as a nut. I don’t care for pistachio ice cream or pudding. It’s the same with bananas and cherries. I like the fruit, but not the flavoring in other products. So, I was interested to see how this cake would taste and had my first a-ha moment when I read the instructions and saw that the pistachios aren’t actually baked INTO the cake, but instead are sprinkled at the bottom of the pan with a butter and brown sugar crumble so once you flip the tube pan over, there they are. This is a butter cake with orange and pistachio flavoring crumble.
As with all the other dishes in this magazine, this one is easy to make and comes together quickly. I was a bit surprised at how thick the batter was but it rose as it baked and came out of the oven perfectly done. My only problem was when I tried to remove it after the ten-minute sit on a cooling rack. The butter and brown sugar had turned into crumble and wanted to bond with my pan more than with the cake. As a result, I don’t have the beautiful uniform colored cake that is in the magazine picture. Mine is more molted looking.
The other thing that happened during baking was that the topping “bled” down into the cake so you can see the darker striping, which is a bummer. I’m glad that this is for family because I don’t think I’d have ended up serving it to guests at a dinner party the way it looks. I’m not sure if excess buttering and flouring of my tube pan would have made a difference, but I did hit it pretty hard with the spray.
As far as flavor goes, both my mother-in-law and I decided that it’s an incredible butter cake. Very moist and rich, but also light as a result of using cake flour vs. basic unbleached flour. However, neither of us could detect enough orange in the cake to be able to say it was in there. If we hadn’t known it should be, we’d have never guessed. The pistachios added crunch and an extra flavor, but again, the main taste of them came from what was sticking in the frosting, not from the ones that were in the streudel type topping at the bottom of the pan. This could be because most of the pistachios stayed in the pan.
I don’t know that I’d make this again even though it was good. A butter cake is a butter cake is a butter cake and the special extras that this should have provided just didn’t come through, unfortunately.
As an addendum to this review, it’s almost noon on the day after having served this cake for dessert. Large amounts seem to have disappeared over the course of the morning; I’m guessing along with many cups of coffee. I know I had a piece with my morning coffee and it was excellent. Maybe it’s the situation in which this cake is served. Several hours after dinner with coffee, or in the morning with coffee. Either way, with coffee is a wonderful way to eat it.