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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Chocolate Pistachio Pudding Cake


This is a super-rustic recipe, so don't worry if it turns out a little sloppy!

Chag Sameach, everybody! The first night of Passover was yesterday, and I've been getting a lot of queries about this chocolate pistachio pudding cake I made. Not only is it dairy-free, but it's #GlutenFree as well, just perfect for your Passover table! I know we're in the middle of the plague, but I don't see any reason we can't scrape together whatever we have in our pantries to celebrate the fact that we're all still making it. Now, since I've made my promise to keep recipes at the top, I will thank you for your indulgence and get right in to the recipe and method.

Reine de Saba au Pistache
adapted from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking

  • 113 g semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  • 113 g vegan butter (or dairy!)
  • 135 g sugar + 40 g
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) pistachios, pulverized 
  • 70 g gluten-free flour
Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a ring-mold cake. I had a smaller savarin pan that was actually WAY too small, so if you have a bundt pan I'd go ahead and use that if I were you. Remember, if you have a nonstick pan, you're fine. If you are going to grease the pan, though, please flour and sugar it as well! It's a sponge-cake, so it therefore needs something to cling to as it's rising. 

Melt your chocolate either in a double-boiler or in the microwave on low heat until a liquid state. You may add a couple of teaspoons of this morning's coffee, if you like, or a tablespoon of kirsch or coffee liqueur. This is your cake, so you may flavor it as you like.

Cream your 135 g sugar and butter together for about 3 minutes with a whisk attachment of your standing mixer. I love the whisk attachment for things like this, which should be nice and light. Once everything's delightfully doubled in size, add in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down as we go. After all three yolks are added, transfer this mixture to a larger bowl. Fold in your pistachios and gluten-free flour until just incorporated with a rubber spatula. Next, you will thoroughly clean your standing mixing bowl and whisk so you may whip egg whites with the remaining 40 g of sugar. You're going to want stiff and glossy peaks, so please don't overwhip. Finally, fold in gently your egg whites, a fourth at a time. Your result will be a beautiful batter, which you'll portion into your cake tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until your cake is just springy to the touch.

This cake tin was WAY too small for this 😂 I should have used the bundt pan. Oh well! Such is life.


Let cool 10 minutes in the pan and then turn it over onto a cooling rack. You're going to want it wholly cool before you add the filling. Once it's cool, transfer it on to the dish you'll be serving it on. 

Chocolate Creme Diplomat
  • 135 g sugar + 40 g
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 20 g corn starch
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 c oat milk, warm
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp water + 1 Tbsp gelatin (or agar agar)
Bloom the gelatin in the water for 5 minutes set aside. Combine 135 g sugar with the corn starch and cocoa powder in the bottom of a heavy-bottomed saucepot. Add in the egg yolks and whisk together until all combined and rather creamy. Heat the oat milk either in a microwave or on the stove, and stream in to your yolk mixture. Pop this on a medium flame and whisk gently until it thickens to a gorgeous thick pudding. Immediately remove from heat and transfer into a large mixing bowl. Add the bloomed gelatin mass; the heat from the creme will melt the gelatin, allowing you to mix it all in.

Whip your egg whites and 40 g sugar to stiff, glossy peaks using your standing mixer. While your creme is still warm, use a whisk to fold in your egg whites, a fourth at a time, until wholly incorporated. You know have what is known as a creme diplomat, a classic French cream filling! If you've mastered this, you've mastered a fundamental filling that can go in cakes, charlottes, and more. It doesn't matter if it's totally perfectly voluminous in this instance, but it helps a lot! Get your cake and pour in your creme into the center. Go only until you're at the top before you pop it in the fridge to let set, uncovered, for at least one hour. You can then add a cover if you like. 

It's likely that you're going to have some diplomat left over, so you can fill molds to turn out later, put it in a couple of coffee mugs to top with whipped cream or toasted marshmallows for a fun campfire treat later, or even fill it in a popsicle mold to freeze for a chocolate pudding pop. The possibilities are rather endless for this. 

This recipe is great because it's inclusive for a lot of diets. It's a good practice recipe for a person that's a good home baker and is looking to expand their skill set. Incredibly, you can adapt so many beloved retro recipes to make them dietary-restriction-inclusive. My sister-in-law is wholly gluten-intolerant now, and with my husband being dairy-free it's a good idea for me to know how to get around these restrictions without sacrificing good taste and flavor. 

The result of this cake, once wholly set, is rather like a gooey spongecake that's filled with almost a classic American filling - French Silk. (Because I'm pretty sure that "French silk" is actually a creme diplomat.) My husband's favorite pie is French Silk Pie, so he loved this cake. It went very well on our Passover table, and we ate ourselves silly with brisket, tea eggs, carrot tzimmes, and a veggie kugel before diving in to this gorgeous cake. It's rather rich, but the light filling helps you not feel like a bloated mess of a person after eating it.

I've been holding up as well as I can during this quarantine. I, like so many others, have been temporarily laid off from my job until the quarantine is over. I've taken to making masks and offering remote cooking lessons via Instagram. I've even started teaching my friends' kids how to draw to help them supplement homeschooling. But one thing I also want to highlight is the Kansas City Hospitality Support Initiative.

The KC Hospitality Support Initiative has been an absolutely incredible organization to help displaced culinary professionals such as myself stay afloat in this troubling time. They've been selling t-shirts and collecting donations to give away grocery gift cards to culinary industry professionals that have lost their source of income until all of this is over. I recently have been lucky enough to be included in the drawing, and this card will help me and my house hold greatly until this is all said and done. It is humbling and comforting to know that Kansas City is a community that truly can and does come together to support each other in trying times.

Thank you KC Hospitality Support Team!

instagram: @HSInitiativeKC
twitter: @HSInitiativeKC
facebook: @HSInitiativeKC



Be sure to donate, support as many local people as you can via contact-free carryout, and stay home as much as possible. This is a perfect time for you to clear our your garage, plant a garden, acquire a new skill, and so much more. Please remember to cover your mouth when you cough, wash your hands with soap and use water as hot as  you can handle, for at least 30 seconds. Consume local honey to help quell your allergies, and drink mint tea with chammomile to calm your nerves at night, as well as keep your sinuses clear. 

We're stronger together, and we're all going to get through this together. So get out there and bake this cake, and tag me if you do!

Use a HOT knife to cut this. Simply run your knife under HOT running water between each cut for perfectly clean slices.

Happy cooking and happy eating! May the Angel of Death pass over your door!

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