Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chocolate Pistachio Mousse Cake

This dessert is a beautiful pairing of Dark Chocolate with Pistachios. Not only is the color contrast of the deep brown and green vibrant, but the taste is also heavenly. 

The dessert is more inspired from the Salzburger 'Mozartkugel' and also the Buche Pistache-Chocolat.

I think the highlight of my Cake was to decorate them with the fine and GOLD LEAVES, or as we call them "SONE KE VARAKH". I had to travel all the way to the Old Town to fetch these directly from the makers of  the Gold leaves from their workshop. It was an interesting visit, and quite a learning.

Glittery foils of Silver and Gold are made in Hyderabad's Old Town Area, just adjacent to the city's iconic landmark and monument the Charminar.  The gold and silver foil are known as Varakh. 

As I parked my car and went closer to the workshops where these are manufactured and sold in the bustling lanes of Charminar I was getting closer to sounds of hammering , the sound almost like when you keep hitting your hand against an empty tin or can. Varakh is known to add glitter to Indian sweets (mithai), supari (betel nut), paan (betel-leaf), and fruits.

The man told me that to make 160 foils of silver, layers of leather are placed together to form a book of 171 leaves. Then, small and thin strips of silver are placed between the leaves and hammered for long hours almost 3 hours. After continual hammering, extremely  micro thin silver foils of 3 x 5 inches are formed.  The fragile silver foils are then removed from the leather book and placed between papers before they are sold.

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake
55 g dark chocolate45 g butter - softened50 g sugar1/2 t cocoa powder2 egg yolks3 egg whites
Melt chocolate and keep aside.
Add melted chocolate and whisk until just mixed.
Whip egg whites with remaining sugar until firm.
Fold the egg whites to the chocolate mixture. 
Pour the batter onto a flat tray and bake at 170 degrees for 15 minutes.
Leave to cool, and cut into 8 discs to fit the base of the cake and 8 smaller ones to go inside the cake.

Chocolate Mousse

50 g egg yolks25 g sugar25 ml water
100 g dark chocolate - melted
200 ml cream - whipped stiff and refrigerated
Whisk egg yolks well together.
Bring sugar and water to the boil. Pour into the egg yolk in a steady stream, whisking all the while. Keep whisking until the mixture has increased significantly in volume and lightened in colour.
When the egg mixture has cooled to room temperature, add to the cream.
Fold lightly with a large spatula until partially incorporated.
Add one quarter to the melted chocolate and whisk well to incorporate.
Add the rest of the egg and cream mixture to the chocolate and fold with a large whisk until just incorporated.

Creme Mousseline Pistache
120 g butter
240 ml whole milk
3 egg yolks
65 g sugar
20 g custard powder
40 g pistachio paste (if you dont have this ground around 100 gms of Pistachio to a very fine paste)
Whisk egg yolks and sugar until slightly pale. Add the cornstarch and whisk well.
Heat up milk to a gentle simmer. Pour a third of the hot milk over the egg mixture, whisk together and pour whole thing back into the saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring and mixing well with a whisk.
Remove from heat, transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add half of butter, cover with plastic wrap (on contact to prevent a skin forming) and allow to cool completely.
When cream is cool, whip in pistachio paste and remaining butter until smooth.

Chocolate Glaze
150 ml whipping cream
50 g glucose
130 g sugar
60 g unsweetened cocoa powder
2.5 gelatin leaves

Combine glucose, cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Add cocoa powder and gelatin and mix well with a whisk.
Strain into a bowl and cover with cling wrap (in contact) and leave to cool and thicken to glazing consistency.

To Assemble
Place mousse into a piping bag with a 10mm tip.
Pipe at the base of moulds and spread with a spatula up to cover the sides.
Add in the smaller discs and cover with a little more mousse.
Place in the freezer to harden slightly.
Pipe in the pistachio mousseline and place the larger discs to cover.

Freeze well
Unmould cakes by submerging the mould slightly in warm water and turning it out onto a tray.
Glaze with a ladle over a grill and tray
Decorate as you desire.


  1. Very artistic. It appears hell lot of a hard work must be going into making one . Nice

  2. Yummy, give me chocolate in any form and I will eat it without any hesitation. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us, going to try it out and hope it will be as delicious as it looks