Milk-Chocolate Pistachio Torte: Ain’t nuttin bad about that…

Recipe: A chocolate-pistachio crust layered with a pistachio paste and topped with a milk chocolate filling.

Tonight I decided to make a Milk-Chocolate Pistachio Torte, recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart’s “Living” magazine (thank you former apartment resident who never had her magazines forwarded to her new address). I love chocolate (milk chocolate, in particular – I know, I know, dark chocolate is a better chocolate, blah blah blah) and LOVE pistachios (yes, LOVE).

I recently confessed this love, in fact, to a good friend – we’ll call him Mr. Schmarkenrider – during a debate about what nut is the best. In his incorrect opinion, it is the hazelnut. In my more Midwestern, non-European view, it’s without a doubt the pistachio. I’ll concede that Nutella is superior to any chocolate pistachio spread that could ever be created, but other than that, what does the hazelnut have? It does not have an instant pudding or an ice cream; Trader Joe’s did not cover its amazing chocolate-dipped-toffee with it (if you have not had these go and buy them immediately. seriously.); it does not encrust delicious fish; it is not an excellent addition to a nice, leafy salad (Cosi’s signature salads rock my world.); it is not a good nut for the holidays – you can’t dye its shell red and instantly have a Christmas-themed nut… Ok, well, I admit hazelnuts probably can do most of those things, but I don’t know why you would if a pistachio is available to you. Anyway, clearly my LOVE of the pistachio stretches far and wide across the spectrum of nuts – thus the decision for my first baking blog post.

The torte is currently in the oven and, sadly, I have to admit that I’m a little skeptical about how this will turn out. I mean, I’m sure it will look fine and I’m sure it will taste fine, but I’m usually not satisfied with a baked good unless the enjoyer of the dessert tastes the baked good and instantly lets out a nearly orgasmic “ohmygodthat’ssogood”. (Me<–perfectionist.) What can I say? If a dessert doesn’t bring you to your knees why waste the calories? Go and get a bowl of fat-free froyo with fruit and don’t feel guilty about the fat and calories of something that is just so-so. But I digress. The torte – I’m not sayin you don’t know what you’re doing Martha Stewart, but the layer of pistachio paste in this thing is so thin that it seems like it was added just for the novelty of saying it has a pistachio paste layer. I think it’s going to go completely unnoticed when combined with the chocolate crust and milk chocolate filling… I hope you prove me wrong, but I’m skeptical.

My thoughts – next time, I would at least double the pistachio paste layer. Or, I may try doing more of a graham cracker crust, instead of the chocolate crust, and somehow get a layer of apricot in there. And then keep the milk chocolate filling on top (would apricot and chocolate go together? I’m going to have to think about this…). At my younger sister’s wedding (exactly a year ago from today! Happy anniversary Jill and Joey!), her mother-in-law made an AMAZING white cake with a layer of pistachio filling and a layer of apricot filling – it was maybe one of the best cake filling duos I’ve ever had, and I keep trying to think of new ways to bring this delicious fruit-nut combination together again. We’ll see..

Of course, I’m throwing all of these options out there before I’ve even tasted the final product as written. I just checked on the torte in the oven and the milk-chocolate filling does look quite delicious… maybe this will turn out all right.

Review tomorrow!

Also, as a side note, I admittedly have a ridiculous sweet tooth and will order a dessert at every available opportunity – especially at fancy restaurants where I can’t pronounce half of the ingredients. However, I realized that when it comes to baking, it’s more the process of putting things together, thinking about how flavors will interact, the chemistry of the ingredients and what that means for the final product, and, who are we kidding, the opportunity to buy awesome kitchen gadgets – that’s what gets me excited. I’m going to eat a slice of this thing tomorrow, but it’s really more to see how good this recipe is or isn’t, and how I can make it better. Which is a very fortunate thing for me because if it was about gorging myself on baked goods, I’d weigh 400 lbs with the amount I bake… so thank goodness for the kitchen gadgets to distract me.

Also side note number 2, I love Mr. Schmarkenrider and hope he doesn’t mind me sharing with the 2ish people who will read my blog that I believe his nut opinions are wrong – just remember that all of Europe agrees with you anyway.


May 24, 2010. Chocolate, Pistachio, Torte.


  1. Deb replied:

    Can’t wait for the follow-up commentary. I guess I know what I’m baking for the weekend! :>)

  2. Crystal replied:

    Wow! It looks awaesome! And hey….As long as we consume things in moderation; we can indulge!

  3. It’s HOT. Let’s eat ice cream. ALMOND ice cream. « Exercises in Glucose Replenishment: My weekly experiments in baking replied:

    […] coincidence because I love the almond. It is a delicious nut, outranked only by the pistachio, in my opinion. I stumbled upon a fantastic-looking recipe online that included an almond-flavored ice cream with […]

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