5.20.16 Pistachio Cake with Raspberry Mascarpone Filling
It’s hard to believe, but as of today, we have a 6 month old on our hands. I’m still not entirely sure where the time went there. The last 6 months feel as though they’ve gone by both very fast, and very slow. It’s hard to remember life before Leo. Since this little guy was born, things have definitely been different around the house, but we’re still managing to do plenty of cooking, and our little guy has been enjoying every minute of it. In fact, he’s finally started eating real food (he’s loving avocados these days), which, as I’m sure you can imagine, has been incredibly exciting (and incredibly messy).
Since Leo was born, I’ve been taking full advantage of each of his month birthdays to make him a cake. Because when you love cake as much as I do, you take any excuse to make cake once a month, even if the birthday boy himself can’t actually eat it. I take this whole cake thing very, very seriously.
For Leo’s 1 month birthday, we enjoyed double dark chocolate stout cake. At 2 months, it was sticky gingerbread cake. 3 months saw us eating chocolate cinnamon cake with Grand Marnier frosting, and for 4 months, we had some good old carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. At 5 months, we went rogue and made this Vietnamese coffee cake. And now, we’re at 6 months. I figured something extra special was in order.
Which is why today, we’re celebrating with the lovely pistachio cake. And we’re talking real pistachio cake, not the kind made with pistachio pudding mix from a box. The lovely nutty cake is complemented by a filling of tart-sweet raspberries and creamy mascarpone. And then, the whole thing is topped off with a glossy, smooth layer of dark chocolate ganache (which incidentally, I find to be the easiest and classiest looking way to frost a cake). Happy 6 month birthday to my favorite cake-baking excuse ever!
Pistachio Cake with Raspberry Mascarpone Filling
- ¾ cup roasted, shelled pistachios + 2 Tbsp roughly chopped for garnish
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt (use only ½ tsp if using salted pistachios)
- ¾ cup milk
- ¾ cup plain or vanilla yogurt
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 6 oz fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
- 5 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep two 8” round cake pans (*see note below).
2. Place pistachios in a food processor and pulse until evenly chopped into very small pieces, about 45 to 60 seconds.
3. Combine the chopped pistachios in a bowl with the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
4. In another bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until everything is well incorporated.
5. Pour half of the batter into each prepared pan and spread in an even layer to the pans’ edges. Bake at 350 degrees until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cakes, and invert them out of the pans and onto cooling racks. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
6. While cakes cool, make the raspberry filling: Combine raspberries, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until raspberries soften and break down completely, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow raspberry mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
7. Combine the raspberry mixture and mascarpone in a large bowl, whisking together until well mixed. Chill mixture in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
8. Make the ganache: Heat cream in a small saucepan until just steaming, but not boiling. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, whisking constantly until a smooth, glossy consistency is achieved.
9. Assemble the cake: Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet, and place one of the cakes on top. Spread the raspberry filling evenly over the cake, then place the other cake on top. Slowly pour chocolate ganache onto the top of the cake - ganache will coat top and run down to coat sides of cake as well, with excess dripping off onto the baking sheet below. Once cake is coated in ganache, garnish with chopped pistachios and transfer to a refrigerator to cool and allow ganache to set for at least 30 minutes before serving.
*Note on pan prep: In situations where I absolutely need to get cakes out of their pans in one piece, I find that having a well greased pan makes a huge difference. I’ve had great success using the following method:
Trace the bottom of the pan on a sheet of parchment paper, and cut it out - you’ll have a circle that will fit perfectly into the bottom of your pan. Grease the whole pan (bottom and sides) with cooking spray or butter, then lay the parchment paper on the bottom. Next, add a bit of flour to the pan, and turning the pan on its side and moving it around, allow the flour to coat the sides of the pan completely, tapping out any excess. Now your pan is ready to go, and you should have minimal trouble getting your cake out in one piece.