Dessert, Tea or Coffee time treat, Christmas Cake?

I am nuts about most nuts, well, I mean the edible ones! Pistachios being one of my favourites.

As you are aware, after pine nuts they are very expensive in South Africa, but at last they are grown locally which makes them much more viable. When one of my local ingredient suppliers offered shelled pistachios at a reasonable price per kilo I snapped them up!

The nuts are large and packed with flavour. I vacuum pack small quantities in my freezer for later use and to prevent me from constantly nibbling them!

Yotam Ottolenghi, one of my favourite cookbook writers

uses pistachios freely in his Middle Eastern inspired cuisine. For ages I have been fantasizing about cooking with generous quantities of pistachios without first consulting my bank manager!

I chose to make Ottolenghi’s Pistachio Roll, but omitted to use is White Chocolate Cream filling. Instead I used a simple cream filling with fresh fruit. I used raspberries but I’m certain strawberries will work as well.

The green, red and white colours make it easy to dress up as a Christmas treat!

You can also add berry jam, but I didn’t have any raspberry jam at home. If you imagine the delicious English sponge cakes filled with cream and jam, it would be as delicious here.

Don’t be intimidated by making rolled cakes.

Once you see how easy it is and how impressive the result is you will follow my passion for this style of cake. These cakes are usually light sponges using very little flour and more eggs….. now, that’s healthier, isn’t it? The recipe has photos detailing every step.

The filling to cake ratio also appeals to me. I’m a ‘filling’ person and cannot wade through forkfuls of cake without generous amounts of filling or topping.

As for the decoration. You can get away with a simple dusting of icing sugar. If you want to show your creativity look out for plastic stencils at paint or craft stores.  Your mother or grandmother may have used the pattern of a paper doily, but who still has those in the drawer? If all fails use the mesh design of your wire cooling rack or cut your own stencil.

Recipe: Pistachio Roulade