Friday, December 2, 2011

Gourmets 50 Most Influential Women in Food # 26 Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray-Pistachio Cake

This cake has such a nice Mediterranean flavor

This week we have two ladies picked to represent # 26 on Gourmets list of the 50 Most Influential Women in food. They are Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray. Together they owned and operated the River Cafe in London until the death of Rose Gray in February 2010 due to a recurrence of cancer. The River Café transformed the image of Italian cooking in Britain by emphasizing fresh ingredients and authentic country dishes. I knew nothing of either of these ladies until I started to research them for this post. Rose Gray was born in 1939 and was a British chef and cookbook author, who together with Ruth Rogers started The River Café in 1987. Both women were self-taught chefs. They won a Michelin Star the year after the restaurant opened, which it still retains. The River Café is considered one of Britians leading restaurants, producing celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Tobie Puttock. Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers had a profound influence on a generation of chefs. The Restaurant has generated a half dozen highly successful cookbooks and a twelve-part television series, "The Italian Kitchen". Ruth Rogers still heads this empire. Less than two years after the loss of her friend and partner she lost her son, due to a drowning. She is married to Lord Rogers, a very prominent architect. 
The recipes I pulled up online seemed wonderful and delicious. It was quite difficult to pick just one to represent these two great cooks. After much consideration, I finally chose their Pistachio Cake. What a great choice...a wonderfully moist delicious cake!

Some of my fresh ingredients 

The lovely Pistachio Cake

Moist and oh so good!

Pistachio Cake
by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers
om Italian Easy: Recipes from the London River Cafe
2 1/4 sticks Unsalted butter
1 Lemon
1 Vanilla bean
2/3 cup Blanched almonds
3/4 cup Pistachios
1 1/4 cups Superfine sugar
4 Eggs, organic
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
1 Lemon
1/2 cup Pistachios
1/4 cup Superfine sugar
Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
Grease a 12 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4-inch loaf pan with 4 tsp of the butter and line with baking parchment.
Soften the remaining butter. Finely grate the lemon peel. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Finely grind the almonds and pistachios together.
Beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the lemon peel and vanilla seeds, then fold in the nuts and sift in the flour.
Spoon the batter into the pan and bake for 45-60 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan, then turn out.
For the topping, grate the lemon peel and squeeze the juice. Halve the pistachios. Mix the lemon juice with the sugar, boil until reduced to a syrup, then add the peel. Stir in the pistachios and pour over the cake.

Thanks to Mary of One Perfect Bite for this wonderful challenge. These are the other bloggers who are also featuring the recipes of Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray. Hope you'll check them out. They are all very talented ladies.

Val - More Than Burnt Toast 
Joanne - Eats Well With Others 
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey 
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney 

Jeanette - Healthy Living
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen 

Sue - The View from Great Island 
Barbara - Movable Feasts
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds 
Amy - Beloved Green 
Linda A - There and Back Again 
Martha - Lines from Linderhof 
Nancy - Picadillo
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits 

Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen
Annie - Most Lovely Things

Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook


  1. OH THAT COLOR! This is so gorgeous, and I'm a HUGE fan of pistachios (even love the "fake" green pistachio pudding). Awesome pick!

  2. Your cake is a perfect choice to represent the work of these two women. It looks delicious and it has uutstanding color. You've convinced me to try it. Bob is a pistachio lover and I know he'll appreciate this. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  3. I think I need this in my life. Right now. Pistachios always beckon and this is a grand winter cake.

  4. The whole pistachios on top look delightful. Tasty cake!

  5. This looks fantastic, Kathy! Moist and wonderful~

  6. Just saw this wonderful cake and I want to bake it this like of baking. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Kathy-this cake truly is a classic. Most of those cakes from the fifties and sixties did not use baking powder, just a lot of eggs, to beat fluffy, and of course, lots of butter!
    Your cake turned out beautiful and moist. I can only imagine the rich flavor, using real vanilla scraped from the pod!

  8. This looks beautifully sophisticated :)

  9. That cake looks moist and yummy! You picked a great recipe for our game changers!

  10. This pistachio cake looks super moist. I think I could easily convert this a gluten-free cake for my son. Great pick for this week!

    1. Jeanette did you manage to convert to GF? I have tried as mini cakes in muffin tins, but they always sink in the middle...I thought it would be so easy as so little flour in the first place