Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pistachio Sponge Cake

One of the more intriguing features of the Instant Pot is, to me, how well it makes “un-baked” baked goods. Cheesecakes, bread pudding, flan…there are myriad recipes out there. I decided to take a spin on an old Chinese classic: Sponge cake! Typically served at Dim Sum service, I can also remember my mother turning out pans of this simple, sweet goodness in the midst of a busy cooking day.

I have always loved the flavor of cardamom in baked goods. It has a warmth that I associate with comfort foods, as well as a unique aromatic “edge” that adds an exotic touch to this cake. Almond essence fortifies the nuttiness of the crushed pistachios, which also add texture and crunch. Steaming keeps this cake nice and moist. Try it warm, cold, or topped with cream and fresh berries.

Pistachio Sponge Cake
by Gary Gee blogging at My Cooking Blog
Adapted from Steamed Sponge Cake from The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook by Gloria Bley Miller
Serves/makes 6

6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely crushed
1 cup water

Separate eggs. Beat whites until stiff. Gradually add sugar and beat two minutes. Add yolks and extracts; beat two minutes more. Sift in flour, baking powder, and cardamom; mix well to make a smooth batter. Fold in pistachios until well-distributed.

Line a 7” cake pan or ramekin with parchment paper. Pour batter into pan. Rap pan on table top to remove large air bubbles.

Pour water into Instant Pot liner. Place cake pan on trivet in liner. Lock lid in place; adjust vent to seal. Select Low Pressure on the Steam setting for 30 minutes; release naturally. Carefully remove pan from pot. Let cool slightly, remove parchment, slice and serve.

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