The Dessert: Restaurant Bricco's Pistachio Cake

Dessert is rarely an afterthought at Billy Grant's three restaurants in West Hartford and Glastonbury. Pistachio and lemon are common flavors in Italian holiday sweets, Grant says, and they unite in this bundt cake brightened by citrus glaze and tart, creamy sabayon. Sugared cranberries add an extra festive touch.

CANDIED CRANBERRIES

Simmer 1 cup of fresh cranberries in double-simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water) and remove them right before the skins split. Lay berries on parchment paper and let them dry for several hours, then roll in granulated sugar. Save for garnish.

CAKE

>>1 cup pistachios

>>1 cup slivered almonds

>>1-1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar

>>1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

>>1-1/2 tsp baking powder

>>3/4 tsp salt

>>12 ounces softened butter

>>1 vanilla bean, scraped

>>Zest from one lemon

>>6 whole eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a Bundt pan by spraying it heavily with nonstick spray and dusting it with flour; dump any excess flour. Grind the nuts in a food processor. Add the next four dry ingredients and pulse the mixture again. Add the soft butter and cream together in the processor. Add lemon zest and vanilla bean to the mixture. With the machine running, add the eggs one at a time. Pour batter into Bundt pan and bake cake for 60 minutes.

GLAZE

>>1/4 cup sugar

>>Zest and juice from one lemon

>>2/3 cup pistachios

Add the zest and juice, plus the sugar, to a pot and bring to a boil. Once it boils, remove from stove and fold in pistachios. Poke holes in the cake and generously pour glaze over the cake. Keep some of the mixture to be added at the end.

LEMON SABAYON

>>1/4 cup lemon juice

>>Zest from one lemon

>>4 egg yolks

>>1/2 cup sugar

>>1 cup heavy cream

>>1 tsp powdered sugar

Take the lemon juice, egg yolks, zest and sugar and cook on a double boiler. Vigorously whip until thickened. Once the mixture is thick and shiny, put bowl over an ice bath to cool. In a mixer, add heavy cream and powdered sugar. Mix on high. Once this is done, fold into completely cooled sabayon.

ASSEMBLY

Cut and plate cake. On each slice, add sabayon, a bit of the pistachio mixture and top with a few cranberries. Lightly dust with powered sugar.

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