After a few bakes that have been pretty labour intensive (Blackcurrant Mousse, Jaffa Cake Entremet), I really fancied making something that looked and tasted delicious, but wasn’t an elaborate 2-3 day process. As much as I love baking all of these wonderful things, some evenings when it’s 11.00pm, the sink is full of dishes, the kitchen floor needs mopping (from spilt mixture and glazing/piping based disasters) and the cake that I envisioned completing an hour earlier, is still staring at me, nowhere near finished, it doesn’t always still feel like harmless fun!
When I was thinking of what to bake this week, I remembered that I had some Lindt Creation Pistachio Delight which I had been sent, to experiment with in the kitchen. I had a browse through my patisserie book collection, which took a little while (I must stop buying books) and I returned to my old favourite, the very reason I started this blog, I’m of course talking about ‘the book‘.
I found a recipe called Pistachio Moelleux. I found this intriguing because a while ago, I had the most delicious Chocolate Moelleux at Jason Atherton’s Little Social, it was like a chocolate fondant with a molten, gooey centre. After reading the recipe I couldn’t understand how these little pistachio cakes would have a soft centre like the chocolate moelleux. The translation of the name is ‘Melt in the mouth pistachio cakes’, so I checked with the lovely French blogger Mathilde for a better understanding of the word moelleux.
It appears the French are just as guilty as us for using the same word for multiple meanings (unsurprising as the English language is heavily influenced by French as a result of the Norman Conquest), in short, moelleux can mean soft or melting heart/centre.
The original recipe used raspberries in the centre of the cakes, but I decided to substitute these with a square of Lindt Creation Pistachio Delight. These cakes are gluten free, however this Lindt chocolate is not. There are a lot of variations you could make with these cakes to keep them gluten free, you could use the original suggestion of raspberries, or Lindt Lindor, a dollop of salted caramel, or a square of your favourite dark chocolate.
The cake is more of a thick batter made using ground almonds and icing sugar, this keeps them really soft and moist. After you’ve mixed this in a food mixer, you can pipe/spoon or pour it into greased silicone muffin moulds. Then gently slide in a square of Lindt chocolate and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. These cakes are so light they only need 20 minutes cooking time, which means this whole recipe can be done in just under an hour.
These cakes also use pistachio paste to give them a stronger pistachio flavour, this can be expensive or difficult to get hold of. You can however substitute the pistachio paste with any smooth nut butter (i.e. peanut, hazelnut, almond), but if you do this, I would change the chopped nuts on top to be the same as the paste/butter you have used. If you’d like an even more chocolatey hit, you can swap the pistachio paste for Nutella, or the delicious Lotus Biscuit spread!
As you can see these cakes are really versatile and after all the talk of substitutions, I had better give you the recipe:
- 165 g Ground Almonds
- 125 g Icing Sugar
- 125 g Unsalted Butter
- 20 g Pistachio Paste
- 4 Eggs
- 2 Bars of Lindt Creation Pistachio Delight
- 50 g Unsalted Pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 12 hole muffin pan.
- Sieve the icing sugar and the ground almonds into the bowl of a food mixer.
- Melt the butter over a low heat and cool to lukewarm.
- Add the pistachio paste to the icing sugar and ground almonds. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing with the paddle attachment until fully incorporated. You may need to scrape the bowl down between adding the eggs so that this is all mixed in.
- Pour in the melted butter and mix until incorporated, this will take a few seconds.
- Spoon the batter into a disposable piping bag and fill the mould 3/4s full, or use a spoon.
- Gently place the square of chocolate in the middle of each cake.
- Coarsely chop the pistachios in a food processor or with a large knife.
- Scatter them over the small cakes.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and a cocktail stick comes out clean.
- You can eat the cakes slightly warm, or wait until they are cool and because of the ground almonds they will stay really moist.
The texture inside these cakes is a lot like a frangipane, or the soft centre of a macaron, they are quite dense, but very soft and gooey. As these cakes have such a short cooking time, you could prepare them in advance and serve them warm as a dessert with some vanilla ice-cream, the centres will be very gooey from the chocolate. Or you can let them cool and eat them on their own, they’d be perfect in lunchboxes or as part of an afternoon tea at home.
Do you have any gluten free recipes that you always use? Or any fail safe recipes that you can rely on when you need to bake something in a hurry? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading.