For the loaf cakes
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 150g shelled pistachio nuts
- 150g butter, at room temperature
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp finely grated orange zest
- 150g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 80g icing sugar
- 4 tsp orange juice
- Chopped pistachio nuts and a little grated orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
- Bash the cardamom pods to release the black seeds, and put these into a dry frying pan with the pistachio nuts. Toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Cool slightly, then blitz in a blender until finely ground.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs. Stir in the vanilla extract, pistachio and cardamom mixture and orange zest. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into the bowl and fold in with a large metal spoon. Add the orange juice and stir through gently.
- Spoon the mixture into the holes of the mini loaf tin. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a fine skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out carefully. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- To decorate, mix together the icing sugar and orange juice. Spread over the cooled cakes and sprinkle with chopped pistachios and orange zest.
Tip: For a more floral flavour, try using rosewater in the icing instead of orange juice.