Passover is almost here, and in less than a month we’ll be sitting around the beautiful Seder table for the traditional feast. I’m actually not a big fan of Passover, and this holiday is really not my favorite, but every year I, of course, make the desserts.
This pistachio cake is perfect for Passover, but I make it all year round too for friend and family who avoid gluten or suffer from celiac. It’s a beautiful cake made of three layers of pistachio cake filled with chocolate cream. If you like chocolate and pistachios (with a hint of espresso) – you’re going to love this cake.
Gluten Free Pistachio Cake filled with Chocolate Cream and Espresso
For the pistachio cake layers:
- 5 large eggs
- 180 grams (3/4 cup + 3 tbsp.) sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 60 grams (2/3 cup) natural ground pistachios
- 60 grams (2/3 cup) almond meal
- 80 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp.) cornstarch
For chocolate cream:
- 500 ml. (2 cups) milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 large egg yolks
- 140 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
- 50 grams (5 tbsp.) cornstarch
- 100 grams dark chocolate chopped
- 250 ml. (1 cup) cold whipping cream
For espresso syrup:
- 120 ml. (1/2 cup) water
- 120 grams (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp.) sugar
- 30 ml. (2 tbsp.) espresso (liquid)
- Roasted pistachios chopped
- Espresso macarons
Pistachio cake: preheat 175c degrees
In a mixer bowl with a whipping attachment place eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla and whip at high speed for 5-6 minutes or until airy fluffy foam is formed.
Add ground pistachios, almond meal and cornstarch, and fold with a spatula until combined.
Divide the batter evenly between three lightly greased cake pans and flatten the top with a palate.
Bake each cake layer separately for 8-10 minutes or until it is golden and springy to the touch. It is important to completely cool the three layers before the cake is assembled.
Chocolate cream: in a small pot, put milk and vanilla and heat to a boil.
In a medium bowl whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch until combined.
Add about 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture and whisk well until combined.
Return the mixture to the remaining milk in the pot and whisk.
Return the pot to the stove and cook over medium heat while whisking constantly until thick pastry cream is formed.
Remove from the stove and add in the chopped chocolate. Mix well until combined and melted completely.
Transfer the cream to a flat container, cover the surface of the cream with a plastic wrap and cool for about 2-3 hours in the refrigerator, until it is completely cold.
When the cream is cold, transfer it to a clean bowl and whisk until it returns to its original texture.
In a mixer bowl, whip the cream until stable whipped cream is formed .
Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate cream until light and airy chocolate cream forms.
Cool in the refrigerator until assembly of the cake.
Espresso syrup: in a small pot, put water and sugar and heat to a boil. Lower the flame and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
Remove from the heat, add in the espresso and stir well. Cool before use.
Assemble the cake: place the first cake layer on a serving plate and gently brush it with syrup. Pour over about ¼ of the chocolate cream and straighten with a palate knife.
Place the second cake layer on top of the cream and gently press it. Brush with syrup and pour another ¼ of the cream on top. Straighten with a palate knife.
Place the third layer of the cake on top of the cream, brush it with syrup and cover the cake completely (top and sides) with the remaining chocolate cream.
Transfer the remaining cream into a piping bag fitted with a small round piping tip and drizzle small chocolate cream mounds on top of the cake.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
Before serving, decorate with macarons and chopped pistachios.
- If you don’t like pistachios you can replace them with an extra amount of almond meal.
- Baking in 3 different cake pans is easier in this case, instead of cutting a whole cake to 3 equal layers, as the cake layers are quite tender and soft.
- You can omit the espresso from the syrup if you don’t like coffee.
- It’s important to use dark chocolate with at least 55% cocoa solids in the cream to get a stable chocolate cream.
- Keep the cake well covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.