Our contributor, Tessa Huff, is back with another fabulous new cake recipe….
After last month’s Blueberry Breakfast Cake, I wanted to create something a little more delicate and refined. Although there are certainly times where rustic mounds of whipped cream are appropriate, classic flavors and simple, chic finishes can also be appreciated amongst all the sweet treats. I was inspired by mint, spring greens and fresh red berries to create this Pistachio Cake with White Chocolate and Raspberry fillings.
Almond, chestnut, and pistachio have always been some of my favorite flavors. When I stumbled upon a can of pistachio paste at a local gourmet food shop, I knew I had to turn it into cake.
I wanted to make a moist, delicate crumb with wonderfully balanced fillings and a classic finish. Now I am not a trained pastry chef, but I am always inspired by and in awe of classic Parisian desserts and dainty French treats. This Pistachio Cake with a simple Raspberry Filling is something I imagine would be made into little petit fours at local patisseries around France. This daydream might not be completely accurate, but the recipe turned out delicious anyways. It is light enough to be served at brunch and even better with afternoon tea. The smooth finish with curlicue piping does not take away from the flavor but only adds a touch of whimsy.
PISTACHIO CAKE WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE AND RASPBERRY
a recipe by Tessa Huff
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup pistachio paste
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. SIft dry ingredients and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy- about 5 minutes on medium speed. Add in the pistachio paste to combine. With the mixer on medium-low, gradually add in the eggs and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl before adding the dry ingredients.
Starting and ending with the dry ingredients, alternate the dry ingredients and milk in 2-3 additions until just combined. Scrape down the batter, but do not over mix.
Divide the batter into prepared baking pans and bake until done. Check doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the center of the cake. When it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, baking is complete. Cool on a wire rack.
WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FILLING
3 ounces egg whites
4 ounces white chocolate
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
12 ounces unsalted butter
Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and start to heat on high. Using a candy thermometer, heat sugar until 238 degrees. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over a double-boiler. Let stand to cool once melted. In addition, place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
Once your sugar reaches the appropriate temperature, carefully pour the sugar into the whipped egg whites, while the mixer is still running. Continue to beat until the mixing bowl is room temperature. At this point, stop the mixer and switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add in the butter. Continue mixing until until the meringue and butter come together to form a silky, smooth buttercream. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix until combined.
ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
6 ounces egg whites
2 cups sugar
6 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
To make, follow the same method as the WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FILLING, minus the white chocolate.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
To assemble, layer pistachio cake with white chocolate buttercream and a thin layer of raspberry preserves. Frost with Italian meringue buttercream. Top with fresh raspberries and chopped pistachios, if desired.