Thursday, August 09, 2012

RPI: Mission Pistachios

I'll be honest here... 

...and this doesn't happen too often...

...not being honest - in fact, I very much value and appreciate honesty. It's a quality I hold dear to my heart and I try to be as honest as possible in my life both in my relationships with people, the planet, and my food. Especially my food. I love my food. Yup, when it comes to eating, honesty is the best policy.

So, with respect to eating and honesty, here it is: I was totally befuddled by this week's Rock, Paper, Ingredient assignment. 

When Haydn selected pistachios as the key ingredient, I thought, cool. I like nuts. And let's be honest girls (or boys)..(or anyone who doesn't fit into the traditional gender binary), who doesn't like a good nut from time to time? And pistachios are some good nuts. 

haha! "nuts"....

But when it came down to crunch time - get it, "crunch" time? because nuts are crunchy - I was absolutely shell shocked. I did it again! Get it? "Shell" shocked! I'm sorry, I'll stop. 

...Should I do something savory and crust a salmon? Should I make dessert and try to whip up my own ice cream? Do I mix the two and make pistachio crusted salmon ice cream? Ultimately, I elected for none of the above. Thank god, most likely.

But I did land smack dab in sweet territory*. And I'm sure glad I did because pistachios were made for chocolate. And Chocolate for pistachios. Actually, I'm pretty sure both the nut and especially the chocolate trade were founded to increase white European colonial influence over "Southern" countries around the world at the expense and blood of poor racialized nations while increasing the profit of those at the top of the political, economic and social food chain. But nevermind, because that's a whole other can of worms. Stupid women's studies degree - why 'ya gotta' ruin everything for me?

* a special holla to John for his excellent espresso suggestion. well done, sir. well. done.

Chocolate Cake with Pulverized Pistachios and Espresso Icing
(printable recipe) - serves 8 - 12.

Ingredients for Cake:

1 1/4 C Ice Water.
2 1/4 C White All-Purpose Flour.
1 1/4 Tsp Baking Soda.
1 3/4 C Sugar.
2/3 C Butter, unsalted & at room temperature.
2 Free-Range Organic Eggs, room temperature.
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract.
5 Tbsp Cocoa.
2 Tbsp Butter, melted.

Ingredients for Topping:

1 C Confectioner's Sugar.
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract.
2-4 Tbsp Milk.
1-2 Oz. Fresh Espresso.
Handful of Bashed, Processed, or Chopped Pistachios.

What to Do:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F & grease & line 2 8X8 spring-based baking pans with parchment paper, or 1 9X13 pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the 2/3 C butter and sugar with medium-high powered beaters.

Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

Add the cocoa and melted butter. Combine well.

Now add the flour mixture alternately with the ice water to the creamed mixture by thirds, starting and ending with the flour. Make sure everything is combined before going to the next step.

Pour the mixture evenly between the two pans. Place pans on baking sheets to catch any drips that might occur. Put in the oven and bake 35 to 45 minutes or until the cake slightly pulls away from the sides and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then release the pan(s). Carefully move each side and then, placing a cooling rack on top of the cake, tip upside down to remove the parchment/bottom. Allow to cool completely.

Topping: Beat the confectioners sugar with vanilla, espresso and half the milk until it becomes silky smooth, spreadable, but still thick. If needed, slowly add 1 more Tbsp at a time until it becomes the texture you want.

Position the cake on a serving platter. Top with the icing and finish with a good helping of pulverized pistachios.


What do you think? Is honesty the best policy?


This post is linked up with Cast Party Wednesday; Showcase Your Talent Thursday; Full Plate Thursday; Tastetastic Thursday; The Hearth & Soul Blog Hop via the 21st Century Housewife; Tasty Tuesdays; Tuesday Talent Show.


  1. Honesty is definitely the best policy, except if it hurts someone's feelings and then I've been known to tell a little white lie or two... However, this comment is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - what a wonderful, wonderful cake. You've got everything i love in it - chocolate, espresso, and my favourite nut of all time, pistachios. Love, love, love this recipe!

    1. true that, sister. i think there is definitely a way to be tactful about being honest that isn't really qualified as being dishonest. care for people's feelings and hearts is very important.


  2. Sure, with exceptions such as, "does this make my ass look fat?" Lovely looking dessert though.

  3. Chocolate, coffee, and pistachios? Heaven!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll be sharing the link on my FB page this evening.

  4. Where's the espresso in the topping?

  5. I absolutely LOVE pistachios! This looks yummy! Thanks for sharing :) New follower here! Feel free to stop by and say hi :)

  6. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. Thanks Miz Helen! I always love your link up!! I'm honored and flattered and my ego just got a little bit bigger ;)


  8. Oh man. This looks amazing! I will be making this ASAP. Pistachios. Chocolate. Espresso. You can't go wrong!