Orange and Pistachio Cake (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Pistachio cakeA few weeks ago The Bald One and I enrolled in Spy School. Well, sort of. It is essentially an interactive game where you have to pretend to be a spy. Our first ‘mission’ was to meet a woman in a phone box near Trafalgar Square and incorporate the word ‘albatross’ into the conversation. Having watched far too many Jason Bourne films, TBO told me we had to split up.  I stealthily slipped into Pret and hovered over a woman eating a prawn salad in order to gain a good view of the agent in question. Clearly far too clever for the game, we were told that we both had to report to the phone box in order to be enrolled. Turning to Pret, TBO proceeded to subtly signal to me to return. I say subtle, but really it was a series of intricate hand signals (I was surprised he didn’t start flashing torch lights), which gave the impression he had a severe twitch.

And so began 2 hours of hysteria, running across London slipping code words to fellow agents, changing outfits in the middle of a pub to remain incognito, collecting scribbled notes in flower boxes… you name it, we did it. Of course, my competitive nature well and truly came out. As TBO did another of his now infamous ‘split’ moves, I completely lost him in the crowds of Leicester Square. When eventually we were reunited I shouted ‘WE ARE GOING TO LOSE IF YOU KEEP PULLING STUNTS LIKE THAT!!’ TBO had to firmly remind me that we were not actually spies.

There’s nothing dodgy about the cake below, no hidden nasties or blunders along the way. It’s dairy and gluten free, but doesn’t taste like there is something missing. It’s delicious after a long hard day catching imaginary criminals.20160709_195156_resized


Serves 8. Taken from My Moroccan Food


  • 200 gr ground unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 100 gr ground almonds
  • Zest of a large orange
  • 150 gr caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (355 F).
  2. Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients (almonds, pistachios, orange zest, sugar and salt).
  4. In a medium bowl mix the eggs, vanilla extract and olive oil until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff (using an electric whisk) and set aside for a few minutes.
  6. Pour the smooth eggs, vanilla and olive oil mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix well. Make sure that all the dry ingredients are now wet.
  7. Using a large metal spoon, gently and slowly insert the stiffed egg whites into the cake mixture.
  8. Spread the cake mixture into the greased cake tin and bake for 35 to 40 min, until the cake is golden and feels spongy to the fingertips. When inserted in the middle of the cake, a skewer should come out a little bit moist.

Directions for use: If serving as a pudding rather than a cake, you can make an orange glaze. Squeeze the juice of an orange into a saucepan. Add 1tbsp of sugar. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Leave to cool. Then brush over the cake. 


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