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My Auntie Rita’s Pistachio and Chocolate Cake

Sometimes my Auntie Rita made this cake for me and my sister as an after-school treat. It's great for teatime, perfect as a dessert, and amazing if you have any gluten-free friends coming round.


  • 80g shelled pistachio nuts

  • 100g salted butter, plus extra for greasing

  • 250g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

  • 4 eggs, separated

  • 160g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

  • 150g ground almonds


  • 1.

    Put the pistachios in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 3 minutes. Drain and peel off the skin, then roughly chop.

  • 2.

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4 and grease a 23cm shallow, loose-bottomed cake tin.

  • 3.

    Melt the butter and chocolate in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water (the bowl must not actually touch the water). In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and icing sugar until fluffy and pale in colour. In another large, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.

  • 4.

    Pour the melted chocolate into the yolk mixture and stir well. Mix in the almonds and chopped pistachios, then gently fold in the egg whites with a metal spoon.

  • 5.

    Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

  • 6.

    Let the cake rest for 10 minutes, then unmould onto a plate. Slice and serve at room temperature, dusted with icing sugar. A tablespoon of mascarpone or double cream and a little glass of Vin Santo are lovely accompaniments.


Extracted from GINO’S ITALIAN ECSAPE by Gino D’Acampo
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 14th September 2013
Priced: £20
Pictures ©Matt Russell

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