Saturday, February 20, 2010

Feeling a little green...

We've definitely been lucky this year...weatherwise. We've gone from Fall to Spring and as you can see from the photos I've taken of my yard, the primrose are blooming, my peonies are up, some as much as 4-inches, the daffodils are ready to burst and my bushes and flowering trees are full of color!

So, I'm feeling a little green and my baking reflects it today with a Pistachio-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake. Pistachios are one of my husband's favorite and pairing it with bittersweet chocolate will make it one of yours. The recipe comes courtesy of King Arthur Flour--The Baking Sheet/Vol. XXI, No.2/Early Spring 2010 issue. If you're not aware of this little publication, let me tell you, you're missing a lot. It is published every other month and it is filled with wonderful, tested recipes "dedicated to the pure joy of baking." Need I say more!

I baked the cake in a coffee cake pan because it makes more batter than a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan will hold. However, if you want to bake it in a loaf pan, you'll have enough to make two 3 x 5 1/2-inch loaves to give as gifts or stash in the freezer for a St. Patrick's Day treat.

Pistachio-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Preheat oven 350F-degrees. Choose the pan(s) you'll be using and grease them.
3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3-ounce pkg. cream cheese
1/4 cup pistachio paste
In the KitchenAid with the paddle attachment (or a medium bowl), beat these ingredients together until soft and fluffy.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The batter may be stiff.

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. Pistachio extract (or use 1/2 tsp. almond extract)
3 to 4 drops green food coloring (optional)
Add the flavorings and food coloring, if using and mix again.

5 large eggs
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. When done, the batter will be very fluffy.

1 cup (6 oz.) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts, rough chopped
Stir in the chips and nuts.

Bake in the preheated oven. Loaf pans-60 to 70 minutes. Small loaf pans-about 45 minutes. Danish tea Loaf pan (12 x 4 x 4)-60-70 minutes. Coffee cake pan, I used took 45 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Turn it out on a platter to cool.

For the glaze:
3 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
3 ounces of heavy cream

Stir until smooth and cool to lukewarm. Pour over the top of the cake and sprinkle with additional chopped pistachio nuts.  Sla'inte agus ta'inte...(Gaelic for Good Health and Wealth.)  Enjoy!


  1. This cake sounds so good and I just love the color pistachios add to everything. Very St. Patrick's Day!

  2. The cake looks delicious and the combination of pistachios and the bittersweet chocolate is very enticing!! However, I'm extremely envious of your spring time weather. As you well know, we have been dumped on with tons of snow and bitter cold weather since before Christmas. I just hope one of these days the snow will be gone and I too will have spring flowers. What a joy that will be!!

  3. What a great idea to pair pistachios with chocolate in a cake! And I agree, very timely for St. Patrick's Day coming up! We are expecting more snow next week in NJ too so I wish we had your nice weather!