It can happen almost anywhere. I could be in a shopping centre, browsing Ebay, searching through the charity shop when suddenly, BOOM! I’ll spot something absolutely amazing that I must have absolutely immediately that would look absolutely fantastic on top of a cake. I’m like a cake decoration magpie, constantly picking up little bits and pieces that make my mind go dizzy with ideas for my next bake and I buy it and pop it to the back of my minds imaginary cake queue, cakes that must be baked where I will use this life changing yellow chocolate/moustache print ribbon/piece of fudge shaped like a bear (these things actually exist in my cupboard). Except I buy it, put on my cake shelf (which has actually expanded into an entire cupboard) and kinda forget about it once I procure yet another amazing something or other. I always rediscover it once it’s too late. The yellow chocolate is past it ‘best by’ date, the ribbon got stained in food colouring and the bear lost his head. Sad face. So the moral of this story? Stop buying more? Pfffftttt, whatevs!
The cute chocolate hearts on top of this lush pistachio and chocolate cake were made using one of the items which was purchased under the above terms. I was soooo excited when I re-found it that I bumped it to the front of my cake decoration queue. They are lollipop moulds bought from a Swedish shop called Tyger which sells the most random fun bits and bobs. I bought my favourite cooking chocolate (Choceur from Aldi, 99p for 200g) which melts like a dream and split it into batches, dying each batch with a little gel colouring and using wooden cocktail sticks as holders. Super cute, no?
Chocolate and pistachio cake
- 180g salted butter
- 300g light brown muscavado sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 tsp of instant coffee dissolved in 2 tsp hot water
- 50g cocoa
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 280g plain flour
- 200ml full fat milk
- 200g pistachios
- 250g butter
- 400g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp. milk
Note: The cake recipe will give you two layers of cake. The cake in the picture is the below recipe x2 but I used one layer for something else.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and butter 2x20cm cake tins.
- For the cake mixture, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale
- Incorporate the eggs one at a time, followed by the coffee. Sift together the dry ingredients and add them along with the milk and fold into the sugar mix.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and smoothing the surface. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around each cake and leave to cool.
- The make the pistachio buttercream, put your pistachios in a blender and wiz until fully ground. Add to your softened butter and beat until smooth. Gradually add the buttercream until desired sweetness is achieved. Add the milk to loosen the buttercream.
- Take one layer of cooled cake and level off with a serrated knife, slather in buttercream, pop on the top layer and cover the whole thing in lush green pistachio butter goodness!