This is truly a showstopper fit for any dessert table. I served this dessert to my dinner guests and it was a great hit. It is not too difficult to make but you do have to allow plenty of time for chilling, ideally overnight, which makes this the perfect make ahead dessert.
Chocolate, Strawberry & Pistachio Torte
For The Chocolate Sponge
- 70g ground almonds
- 70g icing sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 3 medium egg whites
- 45g caster sugar
- 55g plain flour, sifted
- 20g cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 25g unsalted butter, melted
For the Pistachio Mousse
- 5 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes (see Notes)
- 750ml double cream
- 120g pistachio paste, see Basics
- 40g caster sugar
- 20ml water
For the syrup
- 25g caster sugar
- 50ml water
- 2 tbsp kirsch or a fruit liqueur
For the Filling
- 1kg small strawberries, washed and hulled
For the Chocolate Glaçage
- 70g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa)
- 70ml water
- 70ml double cream
- 50g light brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 15ml light nut oil
- 80ml double cream
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- ½ tbsp icing sugar
- 12 small strawberries
- A few chopped pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease three 20cm round, shallow tins and line the base with baking parchment.
- For the chocolate sponge, place the almonds, icing sugar and eggs in a large bowl or the bowl of your food processor and beat until thick and creamy.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the caster sugar until stiff but not dry.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
- Fold a third of the egg whites into the egg mixture until incorporated.
- Add the remaining egg whites and add the flour mixture over the egg whites.
- Gently but quickly, fold everything together until combined.
- Mix 1 tbsp of the batter with the melted butter then fold the mixture back into the batter.
- Divide the batter between the tins and bake in the preheated oven for 8 – 12 minutes until firm to the touch.
- Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack lined with baking parchment sprinkled with a little caster sugar and leave to cool completely.
- Make the syrup by putting the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Cool the syrup for 15 minutes then add the kirsch or fruit liqueur.
- Bring the caster sugar and water to the boil. Take it off the heat and add the squeezed out gelatine leaves.
- Place the first sponge on a serving plate and brush with a third of the syrup.
- Enclose the sponge with a cake ring or close fitting spring form ring.
- For the pistachio cream, whisk the cream with the pistachio paste.
- In a small saucepan, bring the water and caster sugar to a boil. Take the saucepan off the heat then add the gelatine leaves and stir until the gelatine has dissolved.
- Whisk the cream with the pistachio paste until soft peaks form and add the gelatine syrup. (The pistachio cream has to double in volume but make sure it’s still runny enough to be poured over the strawberries).
- Leave 12 small strawberries whole for decoration and cut the bottom off the rest of the strawberries. Cut some of the strawberries in half and place the cut side of the strawberries around the inside of the ring and half of the whole strawberries inside the cake.
- Pour half the pistachio cream over the strawberries, making sure it reaches between all the strawberries.
- Put the second sponge on the top and soak it with the syrup.
- Repeat with the remaining strawberries and pistachio mousse.
- Put the third sponge on top and soak it with the syrup.
- Place a sheet of baking parchment over the top and press down gently to make sure the pistachio cream spreads evenly.
- Refrigerate the cake for a minimum of 8 hours, better overnight.
- For the chocolate glaçage break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.
- Place the water, cream, sugar and salt into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Let it simmer for 2 minutes then pour the hot liquid over the chocolate.
- Leave to stand for a minute before stirring until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Let it cool for 10 minutes before stirring in the oil.
- Pour the chocolate glaçage over the cake and return to the fridge to set.
- For the decorations, beat the cream with the sugar and vanilla essence until thick but still spreadable.
- Spoon the cream into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice and pipe 12 rosettes on the cake and top each rosette with a strawberry.
- Sprinkle some chopped pistachios in the centre.
Note: I have used Dr. Oetker Diamond Leaf Gelatine. If you are using a different brand, please refer to the manufactures instructions.