This Pistachio Cake is something special. There's a buttery crumble layer on the top and bottom sandwiched with a rich, creamy smooth pistachio ricotta filling. It is then topped with a layer of crunchy, candied pistachios on top! It is so easy that it can all be made in the Thermomix or food processor. This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader, especially if you love pistachios. I called her Pandora.
To me this pistachio cake reminds me of the famous Papa Pasticceria ricotta cheesecake except it's the fancy pistachio cousin. The candied pistachios bring this ricotta cake to another level. If you have more pistachios I'd recommend making an extra batch of these just to snack on. They're very moreish!
This cake is so simple that I don't really need to give you any tips for making it. It can all be made in a food processor or Thermomix so the prep time is very quick and the only thing I will say is that, like cheesecake, it's best made the day before so that it has time to set!
What is Pistachio cream? Pistachio paste is like a pistachio version of Nutella using pistachios and milk powder instead of hazelnuts and cocoa. It can be found at Italian delis. I found a giant jar at Costco by the brand Pisti. To be honest I didn't love it as much as I loved the pistachio cream by Fiasconaro (the people that make the best pannettone). I thought that the Costco/Pisti one tasted like almonds but according to the ingredients list it didn't use any, just pistachios. Ironically the Fiasconaro contains just 20% pistachios while the Pisti one contains 40% with pistachio as its main ingredient.
If you don't have pistachio paste you could use Nutella and make this more a chocolate and candied hazelnut or almond cake!
While this cake is super simple to make, it comes out so beautifully. I was worried that the ricotta would heybe lumpy in the cheesecake but once baked with the pistachio cream and eggs it was so beautifully smooth. I wasn't sure how the candied pistachios would go but they were a big hit and putting them on in the last 15 minutes ensured that they wouldn't burn (nuts burn so easily and pistachios are expensive).
While the cake is simple, something recently perplexed us. We took a break from home renovations to let our finances recover but we had one thing that we needed to do: the main bedroom. The woman that owned this house lived alone so the bedroom built in robes were not huge as they only had to accommodate a single person's worth of clothes. We knew that we had to re-do them and that was the next project because quite honestly there were piles of clothes on the floor as we had run out of space even with two sets of drawers and a shoe rack.
Last night we were busy clearing out the clothes so that our builder Peter could install the new walk in robe. I say "we" but it was really Mr NQN. I get really bad allergies from dust and he had to clear out all of the clothes and shoes.
"Oh my god what is this?" he said his head deep in the upper cupboard.
My eyes widened as there has been no shortage of surprises from the former owner. "What now?" I said sighing.
"I don't know what the hell this is," he said presenting a leather wrapped stick with a crystal at the end from behind his back.
"A wand?" I said, just thinking about the crystal.
I put it on my Instagram stories and Threads and so far the consensus is that it's a magic wand. Then another friend Lana (who had just bought a house) told me about how she had found her bra inserts (aka chicken cutlets) near the water tank and a mass of wax and pubic hair at her house!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have any other ideas about what it might be? What odd things have you found when you moved into a new place?
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Note: this cake is best made one day ahead of time
- 300g/10.6ozs plain all purpose flour
- 100g/3.5ozs caster or superfine sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 165g/5.8ozs butter, cold and cubed
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 500g/1.1lbs smooth ricotta
- 150g/5ozs caster or superfine sugar
- 150g/5ozs pistachio cream*
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For Candied Pistachios
- 100g/3.5ozs pistachios
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch salt
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 160C/320F fan forced. Line a 20cm/8inch springform tin on the base and sides.
Step 2 - Place the flour, sugar and baking powder in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and eggs and pulse to combine. It should become little clumps. Take 2/3 of the mixture and press it down on the base of the tin and form a smooth base. Set the 1/3 remaining aside in a bowl.
Thermomix directions: set to speed #4.5 for 20 seconds.
Pistachio ricotta filling
Step 3 - In the same food processor bowl add the ricotta, sugar, pistachio paste, egg and vanilla and pulse until smooth. Thermomix directions: set to speed #4 for 20 seconds. Pour over the base and smooth out. Then add clumps of the remaining dough on top covering most of the top but letting bits of green peek through. Place on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.
With the crumble topping before baking
After baking, before pistachios
Step 4 - Meanwhile make the candied pistachio mixture. In a bowl mix the pistachios, sugar, egg white, vanilla and salt. When the cake has had the 30 minutes in step 4 remove from the oven (it should still be wobbly and not completely set). Spoon the candied pistachio mixture across the top distributing it over the cake. Bake for an additional 13-15 minutes until crunchy and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool on the bench and then cover and refrigerate and serve cold.
Before baking the candied pistachios