Monday, September 7, 2015

Pistachio and Chocolate Butter Cake (Coffee Cake) - 52 Cakes and pies at Home

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I recently received an advance copy of the most interesting cookbook I have seen in ages.  "The New Sugar and Spice: A Recipe for Bolder Baking " by Samantha Seneviratine.  Samantha has a string of credits including an editor for Martha Stewart.  And she Blogs!

The book centers around the spices she grew up with (Native of Sri Lanka)...


“Samantha Seneviratne has assembled the most beguiling collection of desserts, all of which hinge on the exotic spices she knows so well from childhood visits to her family’s native Sri Lanka. The warmth and intensity of cloves, cardamom, and other spices breathe new life into many of our favorite sweet endings—as well as an array of desserts that might be quite fresh and new to the reader. The many beautiful photographs make this already stunning book even more so!”
—Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy and The New Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone

About the Author

SAMANTHA SENEVIRATNE is a New York–based food writer, recipe developer, and food stylist. She is a graduate of the International Culinary Center and has worked as a food editor in the test kitchens of Good Housekeeping, Fine Cooking, and Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. She blogs about dessert at Love, Cake (

For my review, I chose to make the cover recipe.  This is a wonderfully unique flavored coffee cake.  The spice at the center is Cardamom,  Each chapter of the book includes a history of the spice as well as a wonderful anecdote from her life.  Her family's connection to a Buddhist Shrine and the spices that grew in their yard is worth the price of the book...

And this wonderful recipe.

One note, the recipe calls for "Pistachio Paste".  While many top notch stores may stock this item it is a bit pricey for me to buy for a single recipe.  Instead I decided to make my own and sure enough, worked like a charm.  the green tinge to the batter comes through and just makes this an even more interesting cake.

If you follow the link you can find my recipe for making the paste, saving you about the cost of the book!

Here's the legal stuff... "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." But the review and opinions are 100% accurate and mine!".  Love this book and highly recommend it!

 OK... Here's what I did...

Pistachio and
Chocolate Butter Cake

  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1-3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1-3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 7 Ounces (about 3/4 Cup) Pistachio Paste
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  • 3 Ounces Chopped Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa)
  • 1-1/4 Cup Chopped Pistachio
  • Confectioner's Sugar for sprinkling (Optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 inch springform pan with butter (I used cut rounds of Parchment Paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Flour, Baking Powder, Cardamon and Salt.
  3. In a large Bowl (I used a stand mixer bowl), beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and then beat in the Pistachio Paste..
  5. Add the flour mix and the milk by thirds of each, mixing (by hand) until just combined. Fold in the chocolate.
  6. Pour the batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.
  7. Sprinkle the top with pistachios. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown around the edges and a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean (about 30-40 minutes).
  8. Let cool on a wire rack for ten minutes. Release from springform pan and let it cool completely.
  9. Dust with confectioners sugar to serve and ENJOY!!!


This simple recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Cakes and Pies at Home"!

These are the desserts you make for your family.  No fancy amazing wedding cakes, just the rustic beauty of the classics.  From pumpkin pie to cheesecakes to layer cakes, these are what your family craves for dessert.  You may even see a few unusual crusts and frosting ideas to try.

You get the idea. These recipes are simple, delicious and will have your family wanting dessert first...


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