Pistachio Torte with Chocolate Ganache Recipe

Celebrate mothers, mother figures, and friends with a delightfully nutty and chocolaty dessert (or some of our nut-free treats)
Pistachio Torte with Chocolate Ganache

Photo Terry Brennan, Food Styling Lara Miklasevics

This weekend, honor mom, a mom figure, or someone special in your life with this delightful treat. This elegant torte is richly nutty, and a layer of chocolate ganache on top transforms it from a simple dessert to enjoy with tea to something more festive and fit for a party, says cookbook author Kristin Donnelly, who created this recipe for Real Food. While the torte is excellent the day it’s made, she says it’s just as delicious the day after, and you can make it ahead a few days (see the Cook’s Note). Celebrate Mother’s Day deliciously—and keep this recipe on hand for fathers and father figures next month, too!

Pistachio Torte with Chocolate Ganache

Makes 1 (9-inch) torte, 10 servings

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened, plus more for the pan
8 ounces shelled (preferably unsalted) pistachios (about 1½ cups), plus more for garnish (optional)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy cream

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the pistachios with the sugar until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add ½ cup butter and the eggs and pulse until smooth. Add the flour and baking powder and pulse just until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  3. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack and peel off the parchment paper. Let cool, then transfer to a serving plate.
  4. When the cake is cool, put the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it’s just starting to simmer at the edges. Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Let cool for 3 minutes, then pour the chocolate ganache over the cooled torte, spreading it to the edge. Garnish with pistachios, if desired. Let the ganache set for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Cook’s Note: If you want to make ahead, you can keep the cake covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Editor’s Note: If you don’t have a food processor, you could try your blender or hand mixer, the consistency of the nuts might just be a little coarser with the hand mixer.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 420, Fat: 30g (Sat: 13g), Cholesterol: 90mg, Sodium: 160mg, Carb: 36g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 26g, Protein: 8g

Lemon Blueberry Sheet Cake

Photo Terry Brennan, Food Styling Lara Miklasevics

Hungry for More?

If you would like some additional—and nut-free—ideas, check out these recipes I have highlighted.

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This easy-to-make lemon sheet cake studded with blueberries and topped with a cloud of cream cheese frosting is sure to delight.

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These easy yet festive treats “raise the bar” at the dessert table.

Caramel Apple Pie Bars Recipe

Apple crisp meets caramel apple pie in these treats. Plus, chew on apple fun facts and link to more recipes.

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.