Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bittersweet Chocolate Pistachio Torte

Last evening, with company for dinner, I decided to make up a Chocolate Pistachio Torte.  A torte, originating in Central Europe, is a cake made with eggs, sugar, and ground nuts, in lieu of flour.  So, in theory, this makes for a perfect gluten-free dessert!  The most notable torte is a Linzer Torte, made with ground hazelnuts, chocolate, and luscious raspberry jam--for another day.

The torte I made today incorporated one of the newest products I've discovered--Pistachio Flour.  Flour, meaning that the nuts were ground to a fine, powdery product.  Paired with bittersweet chocolate, this dense cake, with a bittersweet ganache coating, certainly satisfies any chocoholic's craving, but, moreover, makes for a pretty elegant dessert.

Tortes were not something my mother ever made, but something I learned about at the Culinary Institute.  The important thing to remember is that with the absence of flour in a torte, you need to balance fat and eggs in order not to have a dry, crumbling cake.  In using unsalted butter, eggs, and bittersweet chocolate the balance with the pistachio flour made this cake moist and delectable.  And, so easy to make--it took less than 15 minutes!

Bittersweet Chocolate Pistachio Torte

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2T granulated sugar
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup Pistachio Flour 

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
4 oz. unsalted butter

Line a 8-inch round cake with a parchment and spray with a non-stick baking spray.  Preheat oven 375F-degrees.  

In a stand mixer, using a paddle, beat the butter and sugar well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, but don't be surprised that the batter will look "curdled".  Stir in the chocolate, salt, and pistachio flour.  Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 22-24 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.  Invert cake onto a serving plate and let cool while you make the ganache.

In a medium sauce pan, over med/low heat, melt the butter and bittersweet chocolate.  Let ganache cool until slightly thickened, about an hour.  Pour ganache over the top of the cake, allowing the extra to flow over the sides.  I didn't let mine set enough, so it flowed around the base as well : ) but who cares--It's Chocolate!!  As a final touch, sprinkle chopped pistachios around the perimeter.
Tortes are easy and quick.  This recipe took less than hour, including baking time to make and when I only had a couple of hours to prepare the whole dinner, this was a good choice.  Enjoy! 


  1. Thank you... This is one recipe that I think I can make.

    We do love our chocolate here. Someone is always running their finger(s) around the rim of the cake... although no one will admit it. I assure you, it is not ME! lol