Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pistachio Cake With White Choc Frosting


This is a cake from the Christmas 2005 issue of Better Homes and Gardens which I've wanted to make for a long time. I waited so long because 1) the photo of the cake was beautiful and a lot of effort seemed to be needed. The cake was decorated with shaved white choc, caramelized stars and chopped pistachios. 2) I've never had any success with cakes from magazines.

The cake recipes that work for me are those from baking classes and friends. To my surprise, this recipe turned out a very delicate cake that is quite pleasing except for the frosting, which I knew would be too sweet, as American frostings usually are. I'm still going to post this recipe because I really love the texture of the cake (not too airy or too firm, not too dry or too moist) and if you change the frosting to another that's not too sweet, you've got a winner.

This recipe is also good if you want to make a white cake. The yolks aren't added to the batter (although I did add 2 yolks out of not wanting to waste them) and the cake is a pleasant cream color. I am going to use this recipe as a basic recipe for times when I want cakes of medium texture. The flavor can be altered by changing the ground pistachios with hazelnuts or other nuts. I've amended the recipe but also given the ingredients amount of the original recipe.

Pistachio Cake With White Choc Frosting
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 t cream of tartar (my addition)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose (reduced from 2 cups)
1 T baking powder
1/8 t salt (reduced)
3/4 cup (150g) butter, softened
1 cup castor sugar (reduced from 1 1/2 cups)
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/4 cup salted roasted pistachios, finely ground
2 t orange zest/peel, finely chopped (I whizzed it with the pistachios)

1. Grease and line bottom of three 7 or 8" pans (20 cm) or two 9 or 10" pans with wax paper. Grease the sides of the pans. Preheat oven at 180 C.

2. Beat butter in mixer at high speed for 30 sec. Add vanilla and 1/2 the sugar, beat until combined. Alternately add the flour and milk to butter mixture, beating on low to medium speed until just combined.

3. In another bowl, add the egg whites and 1/4 t cream of tartar, beat the egg whites for 30 sec, then add the remaining sugar and beat until glossy stiff.

4. Fold 1 cup of beaten egg white into the butter batter thoroughly to lighten the batter, then add the remaining egg whites. Fold in the ground pistachios and orange peel. Pour batter into the pans.

5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a wooden skewer; if cake is done, the skewer will come out clean. Cool pans on wire racks.

6. Spread frosting between layers and cover sides and top of cake. Decorate with chopped pistachios ,caramelized stars (put this on only when ready to serve. If you put it on the cake and chill it in the fridge, the stars will melt upon thawing) and choc curls.

White Choc Meringue Buttercream*
6 oz white baking choc
3 egg whites
150g fine sugar
300g butter

*I suggest replacing the American frosting with this cream which is lighter and fluffier and not very sweet.

1. Melt the white choc in the microwave or over a pot of boiling water.

2. Put egg whites and sugar into a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir well. The sugar will melt and the mixture will become frothy and white. Remove and, using a machine, whisk whites till stiff and glossy.

3. Beat the butter in by the spoonful till well-combined with the egg whites.

4. Beat in the melted choc.


Big Boys Oven said...

I really love to poke my fingers into picking up a slice and enjoyed it with a warm cup of coffee, a lovely decante cake! sure delicious!

Precious Pea said...

OOoo....lovely! I don't have much courage to bake cakes, well after so many failures.

Btw, by any chance you going to share your carrot cake recipe? Yumzzz...the best carrot cake i ever had, really!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

aiyoh need to stay away from cakes..my waist has virtually bloated and expanded..and doesnt want to flatten..aiyoh..thank god we dun gain calories from looking..

LilyAnette said...

Beautiful cake.Yummy.Really a mouthwatering one!

Unknown said...

Hi Terri

You wrote "4. Fold 1 cup of beaten egg white into the butter batter thoroughly to lighten the batter, then add the remaining egg whites. Fold in the ground pistachios and orange peel. Pour batter into the pans." How come I couldn't detect any orange peel or pistachio on the cake you've prepared? Is it so fine that you cant see?

LianneK said...

you´ve got another winner recipe there! the texture sounds lovely :-)

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

BBO: tt's how i like my cakes too, with a cuppa, black, no sugar. what's a 'decante cake'??

pp: u come here n i'll teach u all my tricks.baking tricks tt is.

joe:i bet so, the way u r constantly craving n eating.

lilyann: come over for cake n coffee?

johnathan: yes, both the pistachio n orange peel are processed until powder-like but u can see some peel in the 2nd pic.

lianne: texture really was good, like i said, i'd use this cake recipe n change ingredients but maintain the texture.yum.

red | hongyi said...

ur photog skills r improving :)))

red | hongyi said...

will u be my committed gym buddy when i get back...? this is a serious question

Unknown said...

Oh ya, you are right. The monitor in my office is not good, that's why I couldn't see the peels n pist(No pun intended). Will try this one of these days... maybe make myself some fruity yogurt cheese for the errm.. how do you describe it... the cream to coat the outer layer? :p

ganache-ganache said...

Is this the cake you talked about ? look so yummy, so light & moist, if I were to bake this, I prob change to almonds, have a weakness for it !

Anonymous said...

i remember you showed me the photo of this cake before.

good for you! looks as good as those shown in photos magazine.

TeaLady said...

UUUHHHH!!!!! Terri. This looks fantastic. I have to try this. Yummy! Thanks for the great award. I will post it as soon as I figure out who I want to award it to.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

hongyi: wait till i get my dslr..n the serious answer is "no"

johnathan: hey, tt sounds like the perfect frosting. btw, how come i can't get to ur blog? also, do u know tt airasia will be flying direct into kk frm sing in dec?!

ganache: try it, i'm sure u'll improve on it.

tealady: if u do bake it, show me ok

Unknown said...

Hi Terri

Paiseh, I don't have my own blog. I am one that reap where I have not sown :p I prefer reading your blog and if possible, one day be a guest writer for your blog hahaha.

Yeah, I heard of the airasia deal to fly to KK. I am truly thrilled! However, being in the financial industry, its hard to arrange my leave. I am thinking of somewhere next year, but plenty of things behind my mind too. So a serious question again hahaha, will you tour me when I am in KK?

Btw, read this in LKS blog, wonder if it is true. http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2008/10/10/the-cries-of-sabahans/

Reckon you can give me some insights.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

johnathan: u shd start ur blog too. of cos i'll be ur guide. if anything, sabahans r very hospitable ppl! i read the article, thanx for directing me to it, n i want to reply to the article soon, so watch out!

Andrea said...

Salted roasted pistachios are those you find in the ready to eat packs? What about raw pistachios, almond nibs, cashew. Do I have to toast them.

Your bakes are so lovely and varied. And you share with so much details, thank you.

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