Pistachio is my absolute favorite flavor of ice cream. When I traveled with my family to Italy, we did a whole lot of “research” on gelato. It was an informal, albeit thorough, study consisting of my sons trying every single flavor made in the country, while I stuck to a scoop of pistachio and one of espresso. Side by side, they are the perfect combination. I should know, because I ate it daily during our two weeks in Italy. This pistachio cake is based on that perfect marriage.
Pistachio cake, pistachio buttercream and a layer of espresso ganache.
Pistachio Cake with Pistachio Buttercream and Espresso Ganache:
White Cake – from Abby Dodge’s The EVERYDAY BAKER (makes two 8×3-inch rounds or four 6×2-inch rounds) – note that I left the lemon out of the recipe when adding the pistachio.
1/2 cup crushed pistachios
Prepare the white cake as instructed and gently fold the pistachios into the batter before dividing it into the pans.
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon espresso powder
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
In a sauce pan heat the heavy cream to a simmer. Add the espresso and chocolate, swirl the pan until the chocolate is submerged into the hot cream. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Gently stir the gauche until smooth.
Divide each cake layer into two and ganache the tops.
I only divided 3 of my 6×2-inch rounds, because I had other plans for the last layer, but you could easily make these cakes with all the layers. I love a tall cake.
You’ll need more crushed pistachios for the buttercream and to decorate the outside.
I used my classic buttercream recipe and folded 1/2 cup of ground pistachios into it.
I smoothed the surface with a spatula, as you can see in this video.
And now they are ready for the pistachios on the sides.
Use your hands to gently press the nuts to the sides of the cake.
I left the top clean, but you could cover the whole thing in nuts.