12 June 2009

Recipe: Chocolate and Pistachio Surprise Cake



From Denny: If you haven't heard of the fabulous blog Chocolate and Zucchini, written both in English and French, then, "Honey, you ain't living!" :) Seriously though, this wonderful site has been around a few years on the web (since 2003) and is written in a friendly manner, stuffed full to the rafters with awesome recipes! The writer is a Parisian woman by the name of Clotilde Dusoulier who started this blog to share her passion for all things food-related. Over time her passion for food writing made it possible to quit her day job and write full time!

While I'm putting up her recipe here, you really do need to go read what all she wrote before giving you the recipe. She's a wonderful and chatty writer, brimming over with information and good times. Take a little extra time and check out the rest of her site. She gives her recipes in both metric and American measurements.

Here is a small excerpt of her humorous writing: "To me, cakes pretty much fall under two categories, chocolate and non-chocolate, so I asked the birthday-girl-to-be (her sister) which kind she wanted. Her reply was that she simply wanted a surprise cake, so I followed my deeper instincts and went, well, the chocolate route."

Now does this sound like a woman after our own chocolate hearts or what?!! :) She also suggests you bake this cake a day ahead as she believes that dark chocolate cakes taste better on the second day, talk about making our life easier!

Chocolate and Pistachio Surprise Cake

Ingredients:

- 270 g (2 C) flour

- 2 tsp baking powder (1 envelope)

- 1 tsp baking soda

- 150 g (2/3 C) butter, at room temperature

- 300 g (1 1/4 C) white sugar

- 4 eggs

- 1 1/2 C (3 x 125 ml) plain yogurt or sour cream

- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

- 60 g (1/3 C) chocolate chips

- 2 Tbsp pistachio paste

- 60 g (1/3 C) shelled pistachios, chopped


Ganache:

- 120 g (3 oz) baking dark chocolate

- 125 ml (1/2 C) whipping cream


Directions:

Preheat your oven to 180°C (360°F). (350 degrees will do if your oven is not this exact.) Grease a 25-cm (10-inch) cake pan, preferably nonstick with a removable bottom.

Prepare the chocolate batter. In a food processor, mix together half of the sugar and half of the butter until fluffy. Add in two of the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each. Add in half of the yogurts and all the vanilla extract, mix again. In a medium bowl, combine half of the flour with half of the baking powder, half of the baking soda and all of the cocoa mixture. Add the flour mixture into the food processor and mix again until just combined. Pour the batter into the cake pan, and reserve in the refrigerator.

Rinse the bowl of the food processor, and prepare the pistachio batter: mix together the rest of the sugar, the rest of the butter and the pistachio paste. Add in the two last eggs, one at a time, mixing between each. Add in the rest of the yogurts and mix again. In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the flour with the rest of the baking powder and baking soda, and all of the chopped pistachios. Add into the food processor and mix again until just combined.

Take the cake pan out of the fridge, and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the surface of the chocolate batter. Gently pour the pistachio batter on top, and smooth out the surface with a spatula. Put into the oven to bake for about an hour or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let rest for five minutes on the counter, then turn out on a rack to cool completely.

Prepare the ganache. Melt the dark chocolate with the whipping cream in a double boiler (or in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water), stirring with a spoon regularly until completely melted and velvety. Let the ganache rest until it has thickened a bit, about 30 minutes, and frost the cake using a small spoon.

You can either wait until the ganache has cooled and set before serving, or frost the cake just before you serve it, but the cake itself needs to have cooled down completely, it tastes better that way.



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