Greg and Lucy Malouf have created a sophisticated variation of the more familiar flourless chocolate-almond cake.
Pistachios are pricier than almonds (especially if you use top–notch Iranian ones), but they are worth it for the subtle flavour
Like its almond-based cousin, this cake cracks and sinks after baking. Serve it with a dredging of icing sugar to cover the cracks, and perhaps some fresh raspberries.
For a special occasion, top with a mounded dome of cream and cover with a glossy coating of ganache icing and a sprinkling of pistachio slivers.
For the cake:
• 150g dark chocolate
• 150g caster sugar
• 150g unsalted pistachios, shelled
• 150g soft unsalted butter
• 6 large eggs, separated
• pinch salt
• 2-4 tablespoons pistachio slivers to garnish
For the icing;
• 200g dark chocolate
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 80g unsalted butter
For the cream dome:
• 300ml pure cream
• 1 tablespoon honey
• splash orange-blossom water
1 Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line and butter a 23 cm springform tin.
2 To make the cake, melt the chocolate. In a food processor blitz 50 g of the sugar with the pistachios until they turn into a fine dust. Add the butter and an additional 50 g of the sugar, and process until smooth. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3 When all the eggs have been added, and with the motor running, slowly pour in the melted chocolate.
4 In a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt. As peaks start to form, slowly add the remaining 50 g sugar until you have a glossy and firm mound.
5 Add a large spoonful to the batter and pulse in a few times to slacken the mixture. Then carefully fold the remaining batter into the egg whites.
6 Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C and cook for a further 20–30 minutes, or until cooked. The cake will be ready when it starts to come away from the sides of the tin. Allow to cool in the tin before carefully turning out. The cake should be completely cold before icing.
7 To make the icing, break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heavy pan with the honey and butter. Heat gently, whisking from time to time, until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. The icing should be at the same temperature as the cream or it will melt it.
8 While the icing is cooling, whip the cream with the honey and orange-blossom water to form stiff peaks.
9 Dollop the cream onto the top of the cake and smooth it into a generous dome shape. Pour on the icing very slowly so it covers the surface and sides of the cake evenly. Don’t be tempted to rush, or to use a spatula, or you will not achieve a smooth, glossy finish.
10 Decorate with the pistachios and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Greg and Lucy Malouf, extracted from Moorish.