Pistachio and cardamom are a classic combination in Indian sweets. Growing up in a South Indian household, these flavors were everywhere, and they are near and dear to my heart (and palate). Rosewater is also common in Indian sweets, and it's often paired with pistachios. I came up with this recipe a few years ago when I was making a spread of Indian-inspired cupcakes. It has come to be my signature flavor and the most often requested from both my family (my dad can't get enough of it) and friends. The flavors are exotic but they're not overwhelming, and the presentation of a cupcake brings in a bit of the familiar, making these at once comforting yet transporting.
This cake perfectly epitomizes who I am, both in the kitchen and outside of it: thoroughly American but inspired by my Indian heritage, and also a woman who is creative and has a keen attention to detail - which, in this instance, results in a uniquely and intensely flavored yet delicate cake with a silky, ethereal frosting that always seems to end up lingering in peoples' memories. This is undoubtedly the perfect candidate for my signature and most memorable recipe.
[Note: this recipe makes the right amount of batter for an 8" or 9" cake, so you can easily convert this into a layer cake, as seen in the photos above.] —raspberryeggplant