Remembering birthday is something most of my family does not seem to know how to do, for it seemed everyone almost forgot about my Nana's birthday. My dad is the worst at remembering birthday. Sadly, he'll forget mine, my moms and my brothers from time to time. I try my best not to forget birthdays. I feel horrible if I forget one. I feel as though that I need to have they're birthday to be a great day!
My Nana's didn't want much for her birthday. She really just wants to ignore the fact that it is her birthday. I think anyone that gets older and older doesn't want to get older and older, you know?
Any who, all she wanted to do was have a family get together. Which included her sisters, my grandfathers brothers, her son (my dad) and his family, and a handful of her friends. I adore my Nana, really, I do. So I wanted to make a nice cake that I know she'd like. She loves chocolate (any woman would) and she's a big pistachio eater. She always has some around the house, ready to be snacked on.
When I came across this recipe on Jens blog at use real butter, it was perfect! It was absolutely perfect for her! And she agreed. She loved it. As well as everyone else. It has a nice salty addiction to it (and we all love salt) and it was just an overall huge hit with everyone. Not to sweet, soft and had enough in each bite.
Makes one 9×3-inch round cake. Double this recipe to get a 4 layer cake.
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, plus extra for greasing
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. red raspberry vinegar
1 cup water
Pistachio Vanilla Buttercream
8 oz egg whites
16 oz sugar
1 lb butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups shelled pistachios
6 tbsps heavy cream
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a sifter and sift onto wax paper or a bowl and set aside. Coat 2 9×3-inch round pans with butter on the base and sides. Place circular parchment in the bottom and brush with more butter.
2. Melt the unsweetened chocolate over water bath or in the microwave (be suer to keep stirring to prevent burning). Set aside.
3. Beat sugar and butter together in mixer fitted with paddle. Beat on medium for 1 minute, then on high for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and beat on high for 15 seconds after the addition of each egg. Add vanilla and vinegar and beat on high for 20 seconds. Add the melted chocolate and mix on low for 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Boil water and operate the mixer on low while adding the sifted dry ingredients. Mix for 10 seconds. Carefully add the boiling water and continue to mix on low for 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat for 5 seconds. Pour batter into pans.
5. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until toothpick test is clean. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool in pans for 20 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
1. For the pistachio and vanilla buttercreams, combine egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk constantly over a bain marie until 140F is reached. Place on mixer with balloon whisk and whip until stiff. Turn down whip speed to 3rd and whip until cool to the touch (this takes a while - should be cooler than your hand).
2. Change to a paddle and gradually add soft butter by tablespoon pieces. Mix to emulsify. Once desired consistency has been reached, add vanilla. Blanche the pistachios in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain and place the nuts in a cotton towel. Fold the towel over the nuts and rub vigorously to loosen and remove the skins. Toast the skinned pistachios on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 325°F. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Reserve a few whole ones for garnish. Finely chop the remaining pistachios.
3. Take 2/3 of the buttercream frosting and fold in the pistachios. Save the remaining third of the buttercream for frosting the cake.
4. For the ganache, bring the cream to a boil and remove from heat immediately. Pour over the chocolate (making sure to cover all of the chocolate) and let sit for a minute. Stir until the ganache is smooth and evenly mixed. Put in the refrigerator until firm enough for piping.
To assembly, cut off the dome tops of the cakes. Slice your cakes into two layers. Place the base of one cake on the serving plate or a cake board. Spread 1/3 of the pistachio buttercream over the layer. Repeat twice more. Top the cake with the other base slice (upside down, so base it facing up). Coat the sides with the vanilla buttercream (a thin layer spread around the entire cake). Then frost the entire cake with the rest of the vanilla buttercream. Decorate the cake with chocolate ganache however you like and garnish with whole pistachios and/or any extra chopped pistachios. Serve at room temperature.