Two-Colored Squash Loaf Cake
Two types of squash give this sweet snacking cake incredible moistness and distinctive flavor; pistachios and fennel seeds offer more flavor and contrasting texture. Purchase high-quality pistachios, and pick through the nuts for the greenest ones. After roasting, rub the nuts between palms to eliminate as much of the brown skin as possible.
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 medium yellow squashes (about 12 ounces)
- 2 medium green zucchini (about 12 ounces)
- 1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped (about 4 ounces)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
- Coarsely grate squash and zucchini on the large holes of a box grater onto a large piece of cheesecloth; gather edges and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Spread the pistachios in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; toast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Use a flexible spatula to fold in the squash, pistachios, and fennel seeds. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking until loaf is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool on a wire rack 10 minutes before unmolding onto rack to cool completely.
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