Pistachio and cherry cake


Happy birthday 
and welcome to Spring

Two days ago I promised a colourful and wonderful dessert. Here it is, to celebrate my husband's birthday and of course to mark the beginning of Spring; he likes the fact that he was born on the first day of Spring and I wouldn't dare to forget to make that remark.. He is in San Diego, enjoying the Californian Sun (and doing a little bit of work), so he will be eating with his eyes only.. With our son being at the other side of the World , it's left to our daughter and I to take care of the real thing (see what happens when you leave us behind and go on business trips like this)!! Happy Birthday Big Boy !!

I was looking for some inspiration and fresh cake ideas when I stumbled upon the Paris Pastry Club book by Fanny Zanotti and  immediately fell in love with it. This cake was an obvious first choice, but I've marked few more pages, and it's for certain that more from this book is to come.

Pistachio and Cherry Cake

For the white chocolate mousse:
2 gelatine leaves
150 g milk
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 medium egg yolks
1 tbsp sugar
250 g white chocolate, melted
200 g double cream, whipped

For the pistachio dacquois:
6 egg whites
200 g sugar
240 g ground almonds
190 g icing sugar
4 tbsp plain flour
90 roasted pistachios

4oo g  pitted cherries, fresh or from compote
40 g chopped pistachios

1.Soak gelatine leaves in cold water.
2. Boil the milk and cinnamon together over medium heat. Add mixed egg yolks and sugar, to make custard, which is ready when it coats the back of a metal spoon.
3. Squeeze gelatine leaves and add to the custard, then pour into the melted white chocolate and whisk together. Leave to cool, then combine with whipped cream. Transfer to a piping bag and refrigirate for couple of hours.
4. To make dacquois, preheat the oven to 180 C, and oil and line a 24 cm metal ring with a strip of baking paper and place on a lined baking sheet.
5. Whisk the egg whites to soft peak, then add the sugar, a third at the time, until the sugar is dissolved and the meringue is stiff. Add the almonds, icing sugar and flour and fold gently to combine.
6. Put the mixture into a piping bag and pipe the dacquois into the metal ring  from the centre,spiralling out  to the edges. On the top of it now pipe a circle of small balls around the edge of the dacquois. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and bake for about 30 minutes.
7. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar, pipe the chocolate mousse over it, then arrange the cherries on the top and scatter with pistachios. Serve cold.

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