You know when you find something wonderful and think, "Where have you been all my life? Have I been living under a rock?" Well, that more or less sums up my feelings about Rachel Khoo and her newest book, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook. Why it's taken me so long to find her is beyond me, but I sure am glad I did. She's got five cookbooks, has multiple shows under her belt, and also runs this beautiful site. I'm starting to think I'm the last person on the planet to discover her and her incredible work. :D
Her latest book is gorgeous, filled with whimsy and playful graphics, typography, and sketches, and filled with a wide assortment of recipes. Think everything from Peeping Mushroom Pasta (omg so cute), to Shepherdless Pie and Turkish Coffee Creams. It boasts simple and approachable recipes that are both accessible and impressive, all at the same time. Like this Pistachio and Pomegranate Cake. It's a beauty but it really isn't difficult to make. And it's pretty easy to customize it to your liking. I chose to go with a "marbled" swirl icing with a dramatic drip on the sides, and pomegranate seeds sprinkled around the top edges while Rachel created swirls that resembled paintbrush strokes and covered the sides with pomegranate seeds. You could easily decorate your cake with pomegranate juice hearts, or a herringbone pattern. I can also see adding a teaspoon of cardamom and a pinch of black pepper to spice it up a bit.
Since I'm new to Rachel and her work, I decided against adding spices, to instead experience the recipe the way she intended and guys, it's good. It's perfectly dense and the sweet icing paired with the tart, explosive pomegranate seeds is everything. Not to mention, pistachio. Anything pistachio, please. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you are like me and have been living under a rock and aren't familiar with Rachel, this book might be a good place to start!
Thanks to my friends at Chronicle Books, one lucky reader will receive a copy of Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook along with a few of my favorites: Travis Lett's Gjelina, Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb's Huckleberry, Anissa Helou's Sweet Middle East, and Duggan McDonnell's Drinking the Devil's Acre. Pretty much covering all your cooking, baking, and cocktail making needs. To enter, leave a comment below telling me your favorite cookbook and why it's your favorite, fill out the form, and that's it! This giveaway is open to US residents only, sorry international friends (and Canada friends, I promise I've got at least one or two that are open to you!). Happy Friday, friends!
P.s. In case anyone was wondering, I lost last week for Fantasy Football. :D
Rachel Khoo's Pistachio and Pomegranate Cake
From Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook
Makes one 8 to 9-inch cake
- 1 c. shelled pistachios
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 2/3 c. sunflower (or vegetable) oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 c. natural (plain) yogurt
- 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 pomegranate
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- 3 1/2 Tbsp. natural (plain) yogurt
- Food processor
- Stand mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 8 or 9-inch springform pan
- Silicone spatula
- Wire cooling rack
- Wooden spoon
- Skewer or toothpick
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour an 8 or 9-inch springform pan.
- Using a food processor, grind the pistachios to a fine powder.
- Combine the granulated sugar and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix for 2 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla. Fold in the yogurt. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground pistachios. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, then release the sides of the pan and invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool, lifting away the bottom of the pan.
- When the cake is cool, hold the pomegranate skin-side up in a bowl with your fingers spread out. Hit the outside of the skin with a wooden spoon. The seeds and juice will fall through the gaps between your fingers into the bowl.
ICING + ASSEMBLY
- Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl, then add the yogurt and mix well to get a thick pouring consistency.
- Pour the icing on top of the cooled cake, gently guiding it down the sides. Once the icing has stopped dripping, take the pomegranate juice and dot several drops along the top of the cake. Drag a skewer or toothpick in a figure-eight pattern through the drips of pomegranate, swirling it all around the cake.
- Stick the pomegranate seeds to the side of the cake when the icing has stopped dripping. (If it's difficult to make them stick, chill the cake for 10 minutes in the refrigerator first.)
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Notes: If you're trying to achieve a marbled look, run your toothpick from one end to the other, creating horizontal lines and then perpendicular lines. Repeat as necessary, rotating the cake a quarter turn each time.
A huge thanks to Chronicle Books for providing the product for this giveaway. I’m so excited to partner with one of my favorite publishers to share all these awesome cookbooks with one lucky winner!