This is dangerously addictive – so fluffy, moist and rich that it doesn’t need any topping or decoration. I love to serve it for afternoon tea and as a dessert for dinner parties, and it’s the ideal option for anyone who is gluten- or dairy-intolerant.
MAKES 1 LOAF
250g unsalted shelled pistachio nuts
4 large eggs, separated
100ml olive oil, plus extra for oiling
3 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
150g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
½ heaped tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
❤ Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/ gas 5. Lightly oil a 900g loaf tin and line the base with baking paper.
❤ Tip the pistachios into a food processor and pulse until ground to a flour consistency, but take care not to overgrind them, otherwise they could turn into pistachio butter. Transfer the ground pistachios to a bowl.
❤ Mix the egg yolks, olive oil, orange juice and vanilla extract together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, except the egg whites, to the ground pistachios and mix together, then tip into the wet mixture and stir to combine, making sure that all the dry ingredients are moist.
❤ Using a hand-held electric whisk, whip the egg whites in a separate large bowl until stiff. Gently fold into the cake mixture with a large metal spoon.
❤ Spread the cake mixture in the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is golden and feels spongy to the touch, and a skewer inserted at the centre of the cake comes out a little moist and sticky. Remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out, slice and serve.