Test Kitchen: Pistachio Cannoli Cake from the May Issue

A few months ago, I asked members of the Martha Moments Facebook group if anyone was thinking of making any of the cakes from the May issue of Martha Stewart Living. I was so impressed by the feature in that issue ("Cakes for Any Occasion") that I was hoping someone from the group would be interested in sharing the process of making one of them.

Bernie Wong, a longtime reader of Martha Moments and fan of the Martha Stewart brand, recently took on the challenge. The occasion was a special meeting with a fellow Martha Moments member, Dennis Landon. Below are Bernie's photos of the process with some of his notes.

I'm hoping to regularly feature some readers here who take on some of the recipes in the magazine in a new series I'll call "Test Kitchen." If you are interested in taking part, just email me.

Active time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 4 hrs. 10 minutes
Serves: 10 to 16
Find the recipe by clicking here.

The magazine describes this cake as an "Italian pastry-inspired treat." The batter is flavoured with orange-flower water and crushed pistachios and the ricotta filling is laced with candied orange and semisweet chocolate.
Mise en place: "put in place". It's always a good idea to assemble all of the measured ingredients before you begin baking so that you can simply add them as you go without pause. Bernie does this every time!
The candied orange and the semisweet chocolate are finely chopped. This will be added to the filling.
A half a cup, plus three tablespoons, of shelled, unsalted pistachios are finely ground in a food processor. this gives the cake a bit of crunch and a faint green tint.
Bernie says the cakes came out perfectly and that the batter tasted delicious. He cut each cake in half, horizontally, to create the layers.
The filling was runnier than Bernie expected it to be, even after it chilled for a couple of hours, but it tasted wonderful and was still fine to use.
Ta da! Here is the finished cake, displayed on a Martha Stewart jadeite-green cake stand, of course. Bernie says he needed more crushed pistachios than the 1/4 cup the recipe called for to cover the sides of the cake. He says the process of covering the sides of the cake with the melted chocolate and then coating them with the crushed pistachios was quite challenging, but it still came out looking nice.
Bernie used his Martha Stewart Wedgwood plates for the dinner and created a lovely centerpiece of potted ferns and cut flowers from his garden.
Overall, a very delicious cake that was fun to make for a new friend!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I made the same cake also last weekend. I agree with the need of more ground pistachios and the challenge of getting them neatly on the sides of the melted chocolate layers! I also should have frozen the layers because the chocolate was hard to brush on the moist cake. It was hard to cut neatly through the hardened chocolate layers too. Aside all the aesthetics I was trying to achieve, the cake was delicious!