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Wednesday 24 April 2013

Let Her Eat Cake: White Chocolate and Pistachio Cream Cupcakes

Let Her Eat Cake: White Chocolate Cupcakes and Pistachio Cream
I used to hate pistachios when I was younger; pistachio ice cream in particular left me completely cold (sorry). That was until I went to Italy and first tried pistachio cream. AMAZEMENT! Pistachios are delicious! In a Nutella-like spread they are nothing short of heavenly. I've been trying to recreate it ever since, and finally, this recipe hits upon something close.

Yes, it does involve shelling many a nut, but oh my stars is it worth it. (I shelled mine whilst watching Masterchef and yelling at the screen...)

The saltiness the pistachios means that these cupcakes hit a good balance, and are rich without being too sweet. Try to resist using Milky Bars, and go for a good-quality white chocolate instead: it'll make all the difference.

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Pistachio Cream (Makes 8-10)
You'll need:
For the cream:
  • 150g pistachios, shelled
  • 10g butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
For the cakes:
  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 150ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g white chocolate
Make it!
The cream:
  1. Blanch the pistachios for 2-3 minutes in boiling water. Drain and plunge back into cold water. Drain again. 
  2. Pulse the nuts in a food processor or with a hand-blender until they begin to form a paste. 
  3. Add the butter and continue to pulse until incorporated. 
  4. Add the icing sugar a little at a time, according to taste, pulsing well in between. The nuts should have formed a thick, smooth-ish paste by this point.
  5. In a clean bowl, whip the double cream until stiff. 
  6. Add the pistachio mixture to the cream and fold in, with the spoonful of yoghurt, until combined.
  7. Cover and chill in the fridge until needed.  
The cakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease the paper cupcake cases and place in a cupcake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs then add to the butter a little at a time, with a teaspoonful of flour to stop the mixture from splitting.
  4. Stir in the Greek yoghurt and the vanilla seeds or extract.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture gradually, folding in gently with a metal spoon.
  6. Grate or finely chop the chocolate and fold it into the mixture. (I like leaving the occasional surprise chunk...)
  7. Dollop into the paper cases, filling them 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and risen and a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Place on a wire rack to cool. 
  10. When the cupcakes are completely cool, take a sharp knife and cut a small inverted cone shape out of the top of the cake (to make room for the cream!).
  11. Fill a piping bag with the pistachio cream and pipe into the cupcakes, swirling on top in a circle.
  12. Decorate with chopped pistachios and DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED.


  1. I love recipes where you have to cut a tiny piece off each cake for the icing. Always such a hardship to have to eat them.

  2. I think of them as a sacrifice to the Gods of Cake... one that I have to eat, of course


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