Last week Brenda (of Vinosofia in Spello) posted a recipe for one of her favorite desserts—pistachio yogurt cake. For those of us eager for the recipe, she included a photograph of a page from a magazine, in Italian. Undaunted thanks to a year of deciphering measurements such as "mezzo bicchiere di olio extravergine d'oliva" (half a glass of oil) and "bustina di lievito vanigliato" (package of vanilla scented rising agent for desserts), I became fixated on making this cake. After all, yogurt cakes are popular in Spello for good reason—their moist crumb and round flavor are stunning—and I adore pistachios.
I was careful to note exactly how I translated the recipe for American ingredients, measuring utensils, and methodologies, to put together this cake. It was, in a word, gorgeous. Like most Umbrian cakes, it was not too sweet, but rather tender and sweetly fragrant. So of course I couldn't wait to share it with you.
Pistachio Yogurt Cake
butter and a tablespoon of flour for greasing/dusting the pan
300 grams sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
125 grams of whole-milk, non-flavored yogurt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 grams of flour (plus extra for dusting the pan)
1 T baking powder
20 grams pistachios, chopped
30 grams powdered sugar
1) Grease round cake pan with butter and dust with flour.
2) Crack eggs into mixing bowl with sugar and beat well with standing mixer or hand-held mixer until creamy and soft.
3) Sift the 200 grams of flour with the tablespoon of baking powder and add to the egg cream, mix lightly.
4) Add the almond and vanilla extracts, the oil, and the yogurt, mix until smooth, but do not over-beat (in fact, it's best to do at least part of this step by hand, to make sure you incorporate all the flour without deflating the mixture).
5) Pour batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with half the pistachios.
6) Bake at 325 F until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
7) Let cake cool before dusting with powdered sugar and remaining pistachios.
8) Pairs well with a sweet white wine or moscato.