This last ten days has been a rollercoaster ride. After the excitement of the new job we got news last week that Jeff’s uncle had packed away. Plans for quiet weekend were scrapped as we bought last minute tickets to Chicago, notified work that we’d but out, and packed for our flight. Seeing family was wonderful, the funeral was terribly sad, as funerals always are. We laughed and cried, one minute saying we were doing great, the next saying it was good to be there with family. There were a lot of feelings during the week. A LOT. There was also a lot of great food because Chicago is a lovely town to go eating in.
We had fancy meals and dinner at home made with things from the farmer’s market. We went out for fancy burgers at a not-so-fancy location, ate more donuts than I have in months, and drank more alcohol that we should have. And we made sure to fit in some deep dish pizza, some local beer, a Chicago hot dog, and a visit to a Rick Bayless joint (my first!). We ate and talked, about happy things, about sad things, about current times and past times. We sat around the dinner table one night and passed around old photo albums, seeing who could identify who in the pictures. Some of those 70s hairstyles, man…
On our last night in town, we had an extended family dinner, with Jeff’s parents plus one uncle and one cousin. Post-dinner Jeff and I had a date for fancy drinks but Jeff’s cousin had different plans. She said she was going to go home and bake a cake, because it had been a long day, and to be honest a long week, and she just wanted to do something nice. Cake baking was it. Well said Em, let’s make a cake.
There’s nothing too special about this cake, despite the long title. It’s not too sweet and not too complicated and not boring, the kind of thing you could make just because it’s Wednesday or because you have people coming over and guests deserve homemade cake. I added pistachios because I’ve had a bag in the cupboard forever. I added raspberries because raspberries are delicious. And I added rosewater because I have a bottle that I should really work harder on using up, and Em reminded me how lovely it is in cakes. And she was right. Cake does make everything better after a long day, week, lifetime.
- 1⅓ cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup milk
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp rosewater
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup shelled pistachios, divided and chopped
- ½ pint raspberries, divided
- PREHEAT the oven to 350 and butter an 8-inch cake pan.
- COMBINE the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl and set it aside. In a separate bowl combine the milk, vanilla, and rosewater and set that aside as well.
- CREAM the butter and sugar with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium until well combined and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.
- ADD abut a third of the flour mixture, turning the mixer down to low, and mix until almost combined. Then add a third of the milk mixture and mix again. Continue to alternate adding dry and wet until they are all added. Then mix until it is also mixed but there are still some streaks of flour or mix in the batter.
- SCRAPE down the sides of the bowl and add in two-thirds of the chopped pistachios and half of the raspberries. Mix until just combined, then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- BAKE the cake at 350 for 30 mins. After 30 minutes, take the cake out, add the remaining pistachios/raspberries to top, and then return the cake to the oven to bake an additional 15 minutes.