Spare a thought for poor old Salmon, who won’t be let off the chair until he masters the basics of Japanese hiragana…
Yuzu and pistachio sponge cake
Inspired by a lemon and pistachio recipe in Gino D’Acampo’s Islands in the Sun, this really has nothing to do with Japan, but because Trota is such a big fan of yuzu, a citrusy fruit typical of that place, she has created her own version of this delicious sponge cake.
Yuzu is available in good supermarkets, so no need to go all the way to Japan. You will need: the grated zest and juice of one untreated lemon, 30ml yuzu juice, 100g finely chopped pistachio nuts, 130g caster sugar, 160ml full-fat yogurt, 140ml sunflower oil, 270g self-raising flour, 2 large eggs separated.
Start with the glaze: mix the lemon juice with 2 heaped tsp of the sugar and set aside until needed.
Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. In a separate bowl mix the remaining sugar, lemon zest, pistachios, yogurt, oil, flour, egg yolks and yuzu juice. Stir well, then gently incorporate the egg whites – a little at a time – trying to keep in as much of the air as possible.
Pour the mixture into a 20cm Ø tin (this time we used two mini ciambella tins to get two small cakes instead) lined with baking paper and bake in a pre-heated oven at 160C for 45–50 minutes, until you are satisfied with the ‘toothpick test’.
When baked, take the cake out of the oven and immediately pour the glaze over it. Leave to soak in for 10 minutes or so, then remove the tin and let the cake cool down. Sprinkle lightly with icing sugar – that old Italian presentation trick – and enjoy!
No need to master Japanese for this cake, though it’s so delicious it would make the effort all worthwhile. Alright, Salmon… only joking. Yuu-zuu, yes, yuuu-zuuu. Well done – off you go and have a slice of cake, you’ve earned it.