If you’re running out of time to make biscuits but want to give homemade gifts this Noel, these Christmas Bliss Balls may be the answer. They’re not only delicious but are refined sugar, dairy and gluten free and easy to make. Rolling the balls in green pistachios, red cranberries and white coconut make them look wonderfully festive.
A classic Italian twice baked biscotti studded with pistachios and flavoured with chocolate, orange and cardamom. Perfect for dunking. What’s more these chocolate pistachio biscotti are gluten-free.
Crisp and crumbly nutty shortbread type biscuits flavoured with a little cardamom, cinnamon and fragrant rose. These pistachio biscuits are perfect for the festive season and ideal as a homemade Christmas gift.
I have a bit of a thing for hot chocolate. So what better way to mark such a momentous and romantic day as this Honeyed Rose Hot Chocolate. Today is not only St Valentine’s Day, but also my blog anniversary. Yes, my blog, in its first iteration as Chocolate Log Blog and now latterly Tin and Thyme, is seven today.
Pistachio kachori are little dough balls filled with pistachio, chocolate and cream cheese. They’re a little like fried dumplings and they’re absolutely delicious.
As soon as I saw the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook, I knew immediately I wanted to make this Pistachio & Lime Cake for my friend’s upcoming birthday. This is one of Lynn Hill’s own and it is the one that graces the front cover of the book.
Chocolate gifts for Christmas are always welcome. These sparkling chocolate mendiants are easy to make and impressive. Make them with the recipients favourite chocolate or mix and match as I’ve done in this recipe.
If you like flourless chocolate cakes, you’ll love this recipe. It’s based on Nigella’s chocolate pistachio cake and it replaces the usual ground almonds for ground pistachios. It has a delightful light and smooth mousse-like texture and is topped with a slightly fruity chocolate ganache. Serve it for a birthday or celebratory party or as an elegant dessert. It works well in either situation.
This recipe from Suelle was another one I knew I was going to make as soon as I saw it on Mainly Baking. These biscuits looked so attractive with the lovely green pistachios and brown nibs, I thought they would make good Christmas gifts.
This is what I did:
- Creamed 110g unsalted butter with 50g caster sugar until light and fluffy
- Sifted in 125g unbleached white flour (unusual for me, but I wanted them to look pale and interesting – didn’t quite work), 50g semolina and a pinch of rock salt.
- Mixed roughly together, then added 25g pistachios – roughly chopped and 20g cocoa nibs.
- Kneaded this very briefly until all incorporated.
- Rolled out to about 3mm and cut into 14 rounds – not very easy as mixture was fragile and kept breaking.
- Baked at 150C for 25 minutes.
Well, mine didn’t look nearly as good as Suelle’s but I’m so glad I made them as these shortbreads were delicious and went down particularly well with the recipients. They were very short, crisp and crumbly and oh so yummy. I wish I’d made a whole batch just for us. Thank you Suelle for a truly wonderful recipe.
When I saw this cake in Bake & Decorate, it was only a matter of time before I set to with a gusto and a wooden spoon. The cake sounded so delicious and really interesting with the combination of those delicate flavours. It just needed a bit of time to get hold of some pistachios. As I’m now addicted to using yogurt in my cakes and have been lucky enough to receive another fridge load of TOTAL Greek yogurt, some of that was going in no matter what. As I was hoping for the green of the pistachios to come out in the cake, I used caster sugar rather than my normal dark brown. I also had some green tea and white chocolate ganache left over from the green tea cupcakes I’d made the previous week and it needed using up. I thus decided to use this rather than the mascarpone and orange topping described in the book – although this did sound rather good.
This is what I did:
- Roasted 100g pistachios (unsalted) in the oven at 180C for about 5 mins. Left to cool then ground in a coffee grinder.
- Creamed 150g unsalted butter together with 180g caster sugar and the finely grated zest of an orange until light and fluffy.
- Beat in 4 duck eggs.
- Sifted in 70g flour (50g white spelt and 20g coconut), 1.5 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt.
- Mixed in 2 tbsp TOTAL Greek yogurt.
- Folded in the pistachios, 70g ground almonds and 2 tsp orange flower water.
- Spooned into a 21 cm cake thingie and baked for 35 mins at 180C (gas4).
- Meanwhile simmered the juice from the orange with 20g granulated sugar for about 5 minutes until syrupy. Allowed to cool a little then added 1 tbsp orange flour water.
- Pricked cake all over with a cocktail stick as soon as it was out of the oven and poured syrup over.
- Left to cool, then spread the white chocolate and green tea topping over the cake.
- Scattered a few coarsly ground pistachios over the top.
I was really pleased with the result and thought it quite delicious as well as unusual. It wasn’t as green as I’d hoped, but the sponge was dense and moist with a pleasant firmness. It had a Middle Eastern quality that reminded me of my days in Egypt, although Levantine confections are usually much sweeter. Rather unexpectedly, I thought the green tea topping worked well with the pistachio and orange blossom as all were quite subtle flavours. I keep hearing about the wonders of mascarpone so I will be using it next time. CT reckoned it was the nearest thing to pistachio kulfi in cake form. That is a compliment indeed as he loves pistachio kulfi. He also said, tucking into his third slice, that you would be hard pressed to buy a cake this good – luckily he doesn’t have to.
I am going to have to go cold turkey on the blogging front as I’m just off to Ghent in Belgium for a week. This is another work conference, but as I don’t really know Belgium at all I am taking the opportunity to stay an extra couple of days to explore Ghent. Unusually, CT is accompanying me as one of his root friends lives nearby and he can enjoy comparing notes and swapping seeds and tubers. Thanks to VegBoxBoy I go armed with a list of chocolatiers to visit whilst I’m there, so my withdrawal symptoms shouldn’t be too severe. I’ve also been advised not to miss out on the famous Belgian beer whilst we’re there. Look forward to catching up when I get back.