The recipe for this two-layer cake, fragrant with nutmeg and orange, is worthy of handing down the generations
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup natural unsweetened yoghurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 orange, finely grated zest
1/2 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
1 Heat oven to 180 degC. Grease and line the base of a 20cm round spring-form or loose-bottomed cake tin. Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl and mix in brown sugar and ground almonds. Using fingers, rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2 Press a third of the mixture firmly into the base of the prepared cake tin.
3 In a separate bowl, mix baking soda with milk. Add yoghurt, egg, nutmeg and orange zest and beat to combine. Fold into remaining flour mixture, combining thoroughly.
4 Pour batter over base in tin. Sprinkle chopped pistachios over top and bake 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow cake to cool at least 30 minutes before removing from tin.
The butter can be mixed in using a food processor but I love to use my hands so I can feel the ingredients transforming.
Other nuts can be used instead of pistachios. Walnuts or sliced almonds work well. Topping the cake with slices of fresh fig combined with nuts looks attractive and tastes delicious.
Using freshly grated nutmeg is really worth the effort; the flavour is far superior to packaged ground products. Special nutmeg graters are available at good kitchen stores.
Serve the cake warm or cold with a dollop of plain yoghurt and a drizzle of fragrant honey (honey can be flavoured with rose water or orange blossom water).
Story: Bernadette Hogg
Photographs: Manja Wachsmuth
Stylist: Bernadette Hogg