pistachio-chocolate-ricotta cake

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What do we get?
There is a crumbly pastry worthy for any tart. There is a creamy ricotta filling w/ hints of chocolate & orange. (I thought about adding orange to the title, but then I realized that it would be too long …) There are minced pistachios for a slightly crunchy finish.

I got the idea for this cake from Skye McAlpine’s 1st cookbook A Table in Venice. It’s labelled breakfast cake, but I think it’s more a perfect cake for dessert or a coffee (better: espresso) in the afternoon. (The cake is a rich cake so I recommend to cut it rather into 16 pieces than 12.) Of course I made some minor adaptations – e. g. the pistachios are my special add-on.

Any news?
We watched a lot of series & movies … The weather is rather bitchy at the moment: it’s cold, it’s rainy, during the night we’ve got freezing temperatures (sometimes). It’s stormy w/ showers, it’s sunny w/ blue sky, but ice-cold air … So what to do than watching TV? Of course we manage to have our daily walk of about 60 min – we got wet at times. Our cat wasn’t so fond of roaming the neighbourhood & preferred the sofa for almost 23 hours. (… & of course we worked on our projects!)

We re-watched the Dan Brown mystery movies & started w/ soul food movies like Love Sarah which provokes watching Julia & Julia again or A Good Year … & soul food series like Mord im Mittsommer. (Don’t mix it up w/ Midsomer Murders!) The series is based on Viveca Sten’s novels labelled The Sandhamn Murders & is set in Sweden’s Archipelago, a dream of little islands in a blue sea under a blue sky – and all people wear casual clothing. It’s a crime series while there is summer, sun & the simple life. I read some of the novels, however, the TV series, especially season #3, seems to have its focus mainly on the family affairs & the love affairs of the protagonists. In short: nice to relax.

Oh, there was also a real fine thriller: Der Nebelmann w/ a surprising ending. The novel by Donato Carrisi, The Girl in the Fog, was transferred into a tight packed movie.

So time goes by …

Coming back to the cake!

The basis is a pastry simply made from flour, butter … After a short pre-baking it looks fluffy & delicate.

I didn’t use the more complicated method of adding dried peas or dry rice or even small steel pellets on top of the unbaked pastry before the pre-baking. In this case the pastry won’t be so fluffy, but more crispy. (I admit that I don’t care … the pastry was fine for me & my baking adventure as it came out of the oven.)

What do we need for the flavor?

  • dark chocolate
  • zest of an organic orange
  • minced pistachios.

While the pistachios are ready for baking – thanks to my trusted food store, the orange zest has to be prepared as well as the grated chocolate. For both steps I used the same rather fine grater so that the chocolate became a fluffy chocolate mess.

However, let’s start w/ the pastry. We need:

  • all-purpose flour
  • butter
  • an egg
  • a pinch of salt.

Theres no sugar required: the pastry will be not sweet because the filling will deliver enough sweetness.

Just put everything together, roll up your sleeves & start kneading. Of course: before starting the kneading preheat your oven to 180° C w/ fan.

Put the pastry ball between 2 sheets of cling foil & start rolling out the pastry. Try to get it as round as possible; the pastry shall be large enough for covering your tart form. The pastry is rather creamy; therefore the cling foil will assure that you can manage the rolling-out as well as the transport into the tart form.

Let it bake for about 20 min. Then retrieve it from the oven & let it cool down a little.

In the meantime start preparing the filling.

Just w/ help of an egg whip whisk together:

  • ricotta
  • eggs
  • icing sugar.

Add the grated chocolate & the zest of the orange as well as finally the minced pistachios. About half of the pistachios will be reserved for the topping.

So now pour the ricotta mess into the prebaked pastry & let it bake at 160° C w/ fan for about 35 min.


Well … think about how big your pieces of the cake may be …


pistachio-chocolate-ricotta cake
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Servings: 16 pieces
for the pastry:
  • 250 g all-purpose flour
  • 125 g butter
  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt
for the filling:
  • 500 g ricotta
  • 80 g icing sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of an organic orange
  • 25 g pistachios (minced)
  • 75 g dark chocolate (grated)
for the top:
  • 25 g pistachios (minced)
  • tart form (28 cm)
  • egg whip
  • rolling pin
how to:
  • Preheat the oven to 180° C w/ fan.
  • Put all ingredients for the pastry in a bowl & knead together w/ your hands.
  • Form a ball & roll out the pastry between sheets of cling film. Remove the cling film & put the pastry in the tart form. Adjust the pastry to the tart form.
  • Let it prebake for about 20 min.
  • In the meantime prepare the orange zest & grate the chocolate.
  • In a bowl whisk together the ricotta, the icing sugar & the eggs.
  • Add orange zest, grated choclate & minced pistachios.
  • As soon as the prebaking is finished reduce the heat in the oven to 160° C.
  • As soon as the pastry has cooled down – about 10 min – pour the filling into the pastry. Sprinkle w/ the rest of the pistachios.
  • Bake in the oven for about 35 min.
Prep Time: It’s about 10 min for the pastry & about 20 min for the filling. The filling will be made when the pastry is in the oven for prebaking.
Cook Time: It’s about 20 min for the pastry (prebaking) & about 35 min for the tart.
Pistachios: I used minced pistachios from my trusted food store. Of course you may also start w/ fresh pistachios, peel them & chop them finely.
The tart may be cut into 16 small pieces taking into account that it is a rich tart. You may also opt for 12 pieces.
The tart is fine on your kitchen counter (covered) for 1 day & for 3-4 days in your fridge.
Sorry: no experience w/ freezing!

(information on equipment)

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