Pistachio & cherry cake

Pistachio & cherry cake

Paris Pastry Club
Helen Cathcart

These are my favourite flavours for this cake. With a hint of cinnamon in the white chocolate mousse it really is the perfect combination. It also works well with many other summer fruits. Try peaches or apricots or even a combination of berries.

The base cake is a dacquois. Egg whites are whipped with a little sugar, then almonds and icing sugar are folded in just so.

For the white chocolate and cinnamon mousse


Quantity Ingredient
2 gelatine leaves
150g whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon caster sugar
230g white chocolate, melted
200g whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

For the pistachio dacquois

Quantity Ingredient
6 egg whites
200g caster sugar
240g ground almonds
190g icing sugar, sieved
4 tablespoons plain flour
90g unsalted roasted pistachios, roughly chopped

For the topping

Quantity Ingredient
icing sugar, for dusting
400g cherries, pitted
40g blanched pistachios, chopped


  1. Soak the gelatine leaves in ice-cold water.
  2. Make a crème anglaise: bring the milk and cinnamon to the boil in a small pan over a medium heat.
  3. Mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. When the milk has boiled, slowly pour onto the eggs, whisking as you do so. Return to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring with a spatula, until the anglaise reaches 80°C or coats the back of a metal spoon.
  4. Squeeze out the gelatine leaves, add to the anglaise and stir to combine.
  5. Pour onto the melted white chocolate and whisk well. Leave to cool to 30°C, it should feel barely warm to the touch.
  6. Stir a third of the whipped cream into the crème to loosen the mixture. Then gently fold in the rest of the cream, first using a whisk and switching to a spatula at the end. Transfer the mousse to a plastic piping bag, seal the end and chill for at least 3 hours.
  7. In the meantime, make the pistachio dacquois. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter and line a 24 cm metal ring with a strip of baking parchment and set on a lined baking tray.
  8. Whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks, then add the sugar, a third at a time, whisking well after each addition. Keep on whisking for 5 minutes, until the meringue is stiff and the sugar has dissolved.
  9. Mix the ground almonds, icing sugar and flour in a separate bowl, then tip the dry ingredients onto the meringue and fold very gently until just combined.
  10. Scrape the batter into a plastic piping bag fitted with a 15 mm nozzle.
  11. Pipe the dacquois into the prepared metal ring starting from the centre and spiralling out until you reach the edges. Now pipe a circle of 14–16 golf ball-sized around the edge of the dacquois.
  12. Sprinkle generously with the chopped pistachios, then bake for 30 minutes, or until evenly golden-brown.
  13. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Lift off the ring, then carefully peel the paper away from the sides and bottom. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.
  14. To assemble the cake, dust the rim of the dacquois with icing sugar. Cut the tip off the chocolate mousse piping bag and fit inside another piping bag fitted with a 10 mm nozzle.
  15. Pipe a layer of mousse onto the dacquois. Arrange the cherries on top and scatter with pistachios. If you have any leftover mousse, you can always dollop or quenelle some on top of the cherries for an instant celebration effect.
  16. Chill in the fridge for up to 6 hours and serve.

Quenelle me crazy?

  • A quenelle is a rugby-ball shape (the closest I could find) that is usually made using one or two spoons. when talking about quenelles, most people refer to ice-cream, but you can also quenelle mousses, as I do here. Just make sure to dip your spoon in hot water before you do so as it makes it much easier and neater.
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