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Chocolate & Pistachio Cake (As seen on RTE Today Show 27/1/2015)

This cake has a lovely light consistency which resembles that of a chocolate mousse. Nuts are interchangeable in chocolate cakes so you could use ground hazelnuts, pecans or almonds instead. The rum is an optional flavouring but it could be left out altogether if you would prefer.

Serves 8-10

150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
150g butter
150g caster sugar
1 tbspn rum (optional)
5 eggs, separated
150g unsalted pistachios, finely ground
1 tsp vanilla
Equipment: 24cm springform pan or cake tin
Preheat the oven to 120°C, 100°C Fan, 250F, Gas ½

Line the tin with a circle of baking parchment. Grease the sides of the tin with butter.

Place chocolate, butter and rum (if using) in a heatproof bowl. Melt in the microwave in short bursts at 600W, stirring regularly. Alternatively, place over a saucepan of barely simmering water just until fluid. Remove from the heat and mix in the sugar, reserving 3 tablespoons sugar to add to the whipped whites.

Separate the yolks and the whites. Whisk the yolks into the chocolate mixture. Beat the whites with an electric beater to stiff peaks. Add in the 3 tablespoons sugar and whisk again until stiff. Mix a large spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the ground pistachios alternately with the whites.
Scoop the mixture into the cake tin and spread out evenly. Place in a preheated oven for about 55 minutes until the cake is totally set when you press the centre very gently. Remove and allow to cool in the tin.

To slice, dip a chopping knife in very hot water, dry the knife and slice cleanly.


Pistachio Brittle

60g whole pistachios
60g icing sugar
15g unsalted butter

Line a tray with baking parchment or a silicone mat.

Place a saucepan over a low heat and add the whole pistachios and the icing sugar. Keep stirring the nuts and icing sugar and cook until the sugar melts and turns caramel. At this point, add in the butter and stir quickly to mix it in. Pour the nuts immediately onto the lined tray and allow to cool.

After about 5 minutes, the pistachios will be cool enough to break up into individual pieces. These may be scattered over the chocolate and pistachio cake or used to garnish other desserts.

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