We have made it to week number nine on the nailed it or failed it blog series. We are still working from the book Bachour and learning something new every week. I loved the 40 second microwave cake so much last week, that I decided to continue on with the sponge cakes.
Now this one, I’ll say, didn’t go as planned. It is slated for a remake another day once I restock the pistachio paste. The original recipe had a yield of 24 servings, which is way more than I or my willing tasters would ever need in one sitting. So I cut the recipe in half and planned for 12 servings. I thought it was odd that this recipe only had three ingredients when all other sponge cakes in the book had five to six ingredients and were much more of a liquid batter. The batter was then put into the iSi Whipper and refrigerated for the suggested three hours. Once the three hours were up, I ended up having to spoon it out of the whipper, since it was too think to actually come out of the whipper by the intended way. At this point I was going to scrap it, but figured what the heck, I came this far, may as well see what happens in the microwave. What’s the worst, I figured… A small explosion? I’m guessing I could live with that so I got the cleanup equipment ready, and pushed 40 seconds on the timer, while standing back some waiting to see what happens.
There was no explosion and the cake did cook. It had a very nice flavor, but it was just very dense compared to the microwave sponge cake I had made last week. I’m justifying it by saying that it needed to hold the lemon cream like a bowl, so light and airy would have not done the job and would have let the lemon cream leak out. Is the texture as Bachour intended? I don’t think so. Normally I would have just remade it right then, but swear words, I ran out of the pistachio paste. Hate it when that happens!
After having worked at America’s Test Kitchen, I have learned that the retesting could take days to determine the actual problem of the cake, if there even is a problem.
The obvious things are:
1. It is actually the way it is supposed to be, and I just don’t know any better.
2. I could have incorrectly measured ingredients, or the scale has died.
3. My ingredients could be old.
4. The recipe could really be printed incorrectly, happens all the time in cookbooks.
For the first test, I will recreate the cake exactly as I have done today. That will let me know if ingredients were measured properly, and it will eliminate the question of if the ingredients were old.
If it turns out the exact same, I am left with reason number one, that’s the way it is suppose to be, or reason number four, incorrect printing in the book.
I’m going to go ahead and print the recipe as written because all the other components were excellent and will return another day to test the sponge cake once more to determine if there is a texture problem or that’s just how it is. If you love pistachio, I must say the pistachio paste is great to work with and left this cake tasting delicious, although very dense.
So go ahead and give this pistachio sponge cake a try. I’d love to hear that I just scaled out the ingredients incorrectly and it worked perfectly for you. Or if you are interested in any other recipes in the blog series, you can find all past weeks here.
- 220 g pistachio paste
- 180 g egg whites
- 60 g almond flour
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 oz lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 250 g raspberry puree
- 2.5 g agar agar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup raspberry puree
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar 1/2 tbsp Versawhip
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- Process pistachio paste, egg whites, and almond flour in a blender and strain into an iSi whipper. Charge with 2 N2O chargers and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
- Make 3 small cuts in the base of plastic cups, shake whipper vigorously and fill each cup 1/3 full. Cook for 40 seconds in a microwave, flip cups upside down and set aside until cool.
- Process zest and sugar in a food processor. In a saucepan, bring juice, sugar with zest and eggs to 165°.
- Transfer to a blender and process until smooth.
- Add butter slowly until incorporated.
- Pour into a container and refrigerate.
- Bring puree, agar agar and sugar to a boil in a small pot. Refrigerate until cool before processing in a Vitamix blender until creamy.
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip until light and fluffy.
- Place a sponge cake in the center of a plate
- Create a hole in the center and fill with lemon cream. Dot foam and gel around cake and garnish.