It was my partner’s brithday recently and there are two things that she loves eating more than anything: Pistachio and Vanilla. I decided to surprise her with a cake that combines them and she loved it!
This dessert is typically the kind of cake that you will never find in a pastry shop. Both pistachio and vanilla cost a fortune, so your favorite patissier will never be able to put this cake on his pastry display otherwise they would go bankrupt within a month!
But as a home baker, this is a perfect recipe for a special occasion when you want to go all-in and impress someone with these bold and delicate flavors.
This mousse cake is composed of:
– a vanilla whipped ganache
– a pistachio crémeux
– a pistachio crunch
– a vanilla madeleine sponge
– a neutral glaze
I used vanilla from my home country, Comoros, for the ganache because it holds a special place in my heart that I wanted to share with my partner, but Madagascar vanilla is just as good and easier to find on shelves and online.
For the pistachio crémeux and crunch I used a 100% pistachio butter I bought from a Canadian company called Nutjar. I am not sponsored by them but they make such wonderful nut butters that I had to talk about them!
Tips to succeed when making this mousse cake:
- Use good quality pistachio butter and a vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract. This will make a huge difference!
- For the crémeux, you have to cook the egg yolks at 179-183°F (82-84°C). If you do not have a thermometer, cook your eggs while always stirring, stop when the mixture becomes thick, and start to coat your spatula. It should look like this.
- The crunchy part, while delicious is optional, make your life easier by skipping this part if you are in a hurry.
- The neutral glaze must be applied to a frozen mousse cake. Make sure that your cake has been in the freezer for at least 5-6 hours.
- As always, the main key to succeeding at this mousse cake is to take your time and plan in advance. You don’t have to do all the elements of this dessert the same day. You can make the crémeux and freeze it for days until use. Same for the sponge. The only thing that has to be done right before use is the chocolate mousse. I recommend you to do this mousse cake in two days to pace yourself.
Pistachio and vanilla cake
- 18 cm large, 5 cm high cake ring or silicone mould
- 16 cm large and 2 cm high (or higher) cake ring
- 20 cm large cake pan
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- immersion blender
- 190 g whipping cream (at least 30% fat)
- 35 g egg yolks
- 25 g sugar
- 1.5 g Gelatin powder or sheet (200 blooms) (add 10 g of water to powder for bloom)
- 50 g pistachio butter
- 60 g sugar
- 40 g honey
- 2 eggs
- 100 g flour
- half tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 100 g butter
- 150 g pistachio butter
- 80 g white chocolate
- 80 g feuillantine (or crushed corn flakes)
Vanilla whipped ganache
- 300 g whipping cream (1) min 30% fat
- 450 g whipping cream (2) min 30% fat
- 7.5 g gelatin powder or sheet (200 blooms) add 45g of water to bloom gelatin powder
- 190 g white chocolate
- 1 vanilla pod
- 16 g gelatin powder or sheet (200 blooms) add 100 g of water to bloom gelatin
- 300 g water
- 100 g glucose (or corn syrup)
- 400 g granulated sugar
- Bloom your gelatin powder with water. In a small saucepan, bring whipping cream to a boil. Whisk egg yolks with sugar. Pour a 1/3 of hot whipping cream on egg yolks. Whisk and pour everything back to the saucepan. Cook on low heat while continuously stirring until it reaches a temperature of 179-183°F (82-84°C). Pour directly on pistachio butter and gelatin in small pieces. Whisk until homogenous. Pour in a mold or cake ring smaller than the one for your mousse cake (16 cm diameter) and keep in the freezer until it hardens (around 4h).
- With a mixer, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, and honey at high speed until it is blanched. Add flour and baking powder (sifted) little by little while whisking and finish by adding melted butter.Bake at 200C (400F) for 15 minutes or until golden brown in a greased cake pan. Let it cool down, then cut off the border to get a 16 cm large sponge cake (you can use the 16 cm ring to do it). Wrap it with saran wrap.
- Melt your white chocolate then add to pistachio butter. Add feuillantine, then whisk together. Put 2/3 of it on top of the madeleine sponge. Put the madeleine sponge+ crunch in the freezer until you make the whipped ganache.
Vanilla whipped ganache
- If you use gelatin powder, bloom it with water and let it rest in the fridge for at least 20 min. Heat up the whipping cream (1) to a boil with one vanilla pod. Let it infuse for 20 minutes.Melt your white chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave and pour in a large bowl. Remove the vanilla pod from your whipping cream (1) and heat it up again to a boil. Add gelatin to hot whipping cream (1) and pour onto the melted white chocolate. Whisk until it becomes homogeneous. Add the cold whipping cream and mix with an immersion blender until it becomes homogeneous. Let it rest in the fridge for 6 hours at least.
- Whip up the vanilla ganache to soft peaks. It should not be really tight, it should be whipped just enough to hold by itself. Use your 18 cm large cake ring or silicon mould (if you use a cake ring then wrap the bottom of it with saran wrap). Put a 1 cm deep amount of vanilla ganache at the bottom and coat the border with vanilla ganache using a spatula. Put the frozen pistachio crémeux on top of the ganache, then add the rest of the ganache on top of the crémeux. Finally, add the madeleine sponge on top and push so that the ganache rises up on the periphery. Remove the exceedent and keep in the freezer for at least 6 hours.
- Bring to a boil water, sugar and glucose. Add bloomed gelatin. Keep in the fridge until use.
- In the microwave or on a double boiler. Heat up your neutral glaze until it becomes liquid again (around 30C). Remove the mousse cake from the freezer and pour onto mousse cake. Put fresh pistachio on top of the cake. Leave the cake in the fridge for at least 8h before eating.