20 October 2016

Pistachio Butter Cake with Roasted Peach and Strawberry Mousse

Guys. Guys. GUYS. I'm so behind on everything. I was so on top of things but (once again) I got caught up on taking photos of cakes instead of writing about them here. I also got caught up in watching and re-watching the first season of Mind of a Chef while flipping through Molly's new book. Oh, I also attended my first bridal shower last weekend and even got to make the cake for it (hi, Kiran!). Canadian Thanksgiving also happened in between all that and I ate enough butter-laden things that put me in a food coma for two weeks. I blame all the Thanksgiving feasting for my sloth-like behaviour on the blog and irl.

I really contemplated posting this recipe now. I made this cake waaaaaay earlier in the summer when it was actually peach season. It is no longer peach season. It is decorative gourd season. It is also the season of pumpkin spice lattes (ick), pumpkin pies (depending on where it is from, can be ick), and things with pumpkin when the addition of pumpkin to it was actually not that necessary. Despite all of that I still decided to post this recipe now because:

a) You can use end-of-season or frozen peaches for this recipe.
b) This pistachio cake is delicious even if you are not making the peach mousse to accompany it.
c) If I waited until next year I would probably never end up posting this because I would hate this set of photos by then. If you take photos and blog, you know what I am talking about. You never want to look at old photos and old blog posts because when you do, you kinda shudder. You think, gee, my photos were really not that great back then. Or maybe this is just me. Maybe you all have taken amazing photos since the beginning of time and I am just here flailing around with my camera not knowing what each button really does. 

I have a love/hate relationship with pistachio and pistachio-flavoured things. I LOVE pistachio nuts. They are one of my favourites if you asked me to rank my nut preferences in some of hierarchical fashion. Pistachio-flavoured things on the other hand...can be a mixed bag. Let's talk about pistachio ice cream for a quick minute. Sometimes it tastes like the most heavenly confection that has graced your mouth. But sometimes it tastes like trash. (Disclaimer: I have never actually tasted trash but it is the word I think best encapsulates the cloyingly medicinal taste of artificial pistachio things.) Usually you can tell if something is real delicious pistachio or artificial pistachio by looking at what shade of green it is. Muted, swamp-like green? Probably the real stuff. Highlighter toxic slime green? Maybe you should pick a different flavour of ice cream. I hear chocolate is a solid choice.

I used pistachio butter for this recipe. It can be hard to find pistachio butter. You probably will not find it next the jars of peanut butter and almond butter at your local grocery store. The easiest way to get a hold of pistachio butter is to make your own. With a food processor, grind your pistachios further than you would to make a pistachio meal. If it is looking a bit dry, gradually add a few teaspoons of coconut oil to the food processor. What will come out of your food processor might alarm you. It will probably be a deep swamp-green colour. Perfectly normal. Any leftovers you get is great on toast, a la Cozy Kitchen style. With sprinkles, of course.

I made a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream to frost the outsides of the cake. Feel free to make a classic American buttercream, but the lighter swiss meringue buttercream allows the flavours of the pistachio cake and the mousse to take centre stage.

Pistachio Butter Cake with Roasted Peach and Strawberry Mousse
Yields three layer 6 inch cake

Pistachio Butter Cake
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoon pistachio butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
200 ml milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Roasted Peach and Strawberry Mousse
1/2 lb white peaches, peeled, diced
1/2 lb strawberries, diced
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon unflavoured gelatin
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
4 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pistachio Butter Cake
Preheat oven to 350F and grease three cake pans. 

In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment cream the butter, pistachio butter, and sugar together. Gradually add in the eggs, one at a time.

In a separate bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and mix on slow to combine. Gradually pour in the milk and add in the remainder of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Divide the mixture evenly among the four prepared cake pans and bake for 30 - 35 minutes. Check for doneness a few minutes before the 30 minute mark by using a toothpick - if the toothpick comes out clean, you're good to go. You can also test for doneness by gently pressing your finger on the cake - it should spring back up. 

Roasted Peach and Strawberry Mousse
Preheat oven to 400F.

Peel and dice peaches and strawberries. In a bowl, combine butter, lemon juice, and fruit. Arrange prepared fruit on a large, shallow baking dish. Roast until fruit is tender and cooking liquid is syrupy, 25 - 30 minutes.

Allow fruit to cool. Once cooled, transfer roasted fruit to a blender and blend until pureed. 

In a small sauce pan (off the heat), add 1/4 cup cold water and sprinkle top with 1 tablespoon of gelatin. Let sit 5 minutes to soften then stir in sugar and place over medium heat, stirring just until sugar has dissolved (1 to 2 min) then remove from heat. Add gelatin mixture to the fruit puree and blend until well combined. Cover with lid and chill in refrigerator until mixture begins to thicken, roughly 2 hours.  

Once puree starts to thicken, beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. 

Fold whipped cream into fruit mixture, mixing until smooth.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Place egg whites and sugar into a stainless steel or glass bowl, and place the bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water. Continuously whisk the egg whites and sugar together until sugar has melted.

Remove bowl from heat and beat mixture on high until the egg white and sugar mixture is white and fluffy. 

Once the mixture has cooled a bit, start adding butter gradually. Add vanilla. This is the part where you have to trust that the buttercream will turn out. It might look kind of lumpy and not buttercream-esque, but just keep on mixing.


  1. yesss about the having things to post but not the right time to post but if it doesn't get posted now it never will. it still feels like summer (i was sweating late afternoon today), so peach and strawberry mousse sounds perfect to me!

  2. Stunning cake and your photos are lovely as ever!!!

  3. love this cake Amy, it's absolutely stunning! I'm in love with the peach and strawberry mousse filling. and I so know what you mean - if I leave a set of photos sitting for too long I start finding all the flaws, and end up reshooting or trying something else!



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