A chance visit to a local farmer's market saw me buying a big green cookie from a gluten-free stall that looked and smelled absolutely divine. It was a pistachio cookie and chewy to a fault. It is was so delicious that I couldn't stop thinking about it long after the last crumbs were polished off. This Flourless Pistachio Cake was born out of necessity because I couldn't go back to those markets but I needed my chewy pistachio fix. An incredibly easy, mix and bake cake, if you are a fan of pistachios and chewy Italian cookies then this Flourless Pistachio Cake is a must bake!
On turning 37 ...
Last Friday I hit the ripe old age of 37. I don't feel 37. I feel 28. In my head. It's true. Age is only a number. Especially when you are getting older. And a birthday feels like any other day. When you are little, birthdays are about presents and cake and more presents. When you are in your teens or just starting out, birthdays are about friends and celebrations and maybe presents.
Then you get even older and financially independent. You rule your roost and have absolute freedom. You buy things for yourself, you bake cakes, you have that occasional glass of wine in the evening, you cook special meals, you get flowers from your partner and you spend all the time in the world with family and friends - and this happens on a regular basis. Suddenly, every day is like a birthday. So then, what do you do to mark the special occasion of your birth? You take time off, right? Because that is something you are not really supposed to do otherwise.
A solo movie date with The Hundred-Foot Journey
So on my birthday this year for the first time in many, I took the day off. I worked extra hours leading up to my birthday but took time off on the day, ironic as it may be. I went and watched The Hundred Foot Journey alongside five dozen senior citizens and I thought about how great it would be to be able to go watch movies during the day in a couple of decades. Life is amazing that way, no matter what stage you are at, there is always something to look forward to.
If you haven't watched the movie, you must. It is every foodie's dream to chance upon an abandoned restaurant in a quaint French village all equipped with cobweb adorned copper pots and vintage bakeware, burgeoning lemon trees dotting an overgrown courtyard where chickens roam free. A place where you hop on a bike and pedal down to the woods to forage for mushrooms while lugging dog-eared, hard-bound copies of Le Cordon Bleu. It hit all the right spots for me with the Indian influence weaving in and out of the movie pairing classic French flavours with exotic spices from the land of a million spices.
Happy Birthday to me.
I spoke about the movie that day on Instagram. I talked in particular about this scene where Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) sits down to an Indian style masala omelette that Hassan (Manish Dayal) makes her cook. I loved the old school story and the message. I needed it! So much!! With great success comes great responsibility. With great responsibility comes great burden. With great burden comes the loss of freedom, simplicity and the joy in everyday. Sometimes, it takes a whole lot of courage to refuse great things to return to the grassroots of what makes your heart truly happy, to return to the very start. Because there lies the innocent happiness and wonder of discovery!! There is nothing wrong with a simple life. In fact, that is what makes life worth living!!
My day off was a testament to that very fact. I always knew that simplicity makes me truly happy but realised that even more on the day. After the movie, I spent two blissful hours at Berkelouw cafe browsing cookbooks over a simple lunch of Pumpkin Couscous Salad and Yerba Mate tea with coconut and pineapple. Later celebrated as a family over dinner and I got to spend all evening with my favourite boys in the whole world over good food, hand written cards, a surprise brownie cake and plenty of laughter.
I want to thank each and everyone of you who wrote to me and wished me all over my social media and through emails and messages. You are all absolutely beautiful and make my little world even more special. Thank You!!
A perfect Flourless Pistachio Cake
And now for this cake! My kind of a cake like a big giant chewy fudgy nut cookie. After having this cookie from a market recently, I wanted to recreate the texture and flavour of the aromatic pistachio treat. This flourless nut cake is absolutely gorgeous. It is dense, textural and utterly delicious. Packed with almost 4 cups of nuts, this cake is gluten-free and refined sugar-free. Yes, my kind of cake! You can bake this as a big cake or petite cakes, it has a very French pastry feel to it. This is going to become my go-to cake for Spring picnics because make no mistake here, the vibrant green pistachio is the star of the show and perfect for the weather of new life!
CATCH UP & UPDATE
To say I have been busy would be an understatement. We are continuing with phase two of our massive renovations. I have begun shooting, with shoots scheduled every week and working on the blog and everything related to it. I am also working on launching the workshops I have been talking about. I am happy to say that the Dutch version of my cookbook has gone to print yayyy! It will be in stores in time for Christmas. I have a brand spanking new author page on Amazon. My book releases in 5 days in US, so make sure you get your copy by ordering it here on my Amazon page with heaps of great editorial reviews and information.
Katrina Meynink, the gorgeous author of Kitchen Coquette and Bistronomy cooked from my book and put up a glowing review of it. So chuffed! Also very happy to be featured on Food52's Blogs We Love. Eat Your Books indexed Tasty Express and featured it on their Recommended New Cookbooks list! Ecstatic to be featured on I Quit Sugar with some generous words and a recipe extract. A lot of love from my alma mater - Shillington College, when they decided to feature me as part of their collaboration with Urban List Sydney. Check out this lovely interview and behind the scenes of my workspace. Good Food interviewed me and shared my insights on making the perfect naan at home along with the naan recipe from my cookbook. The gorgeous Slowpoke Journal featured a recipe from my book - my favourite Kale Daal Fry! Taste magazine ran a 7 page feature on my cookbook in their August 2014 issue.
I bought a lens after cracking open my piggy bank that had been getting fuller and fuller in the past year. I joined the Steller App. My first two stories were featured by Steller and quickly broke into the Top 20 most viewed stories on there. Very exciting! Needless to say, I am micro-blogging over on Instagram. Some of my Instagram photos have content longer than my posts here and daily too. So follow me on Instagram to stay in the loop. Very blessed to have reached 15k followers this week.
WIN SIGNED COPIES OF MY BOOK
To celebrate my birthday, I am giving away two signed copies of my cookbook Tasty Express in Australia & New Zealand!! But there is a catch, this has to be for someone you know would like to have a copy!! A good deed!! So leave me a comment below telling me who this book would be for and why! If you have already entered on Instagram and Facebook, skip it as I will be pooling all entries together and picking the winner on Friday (29th August) night.
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FLOURLESS PISTACHIO CAKE
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1 1/2 cups raw pistachios
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
- 2 eggs
- 5 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- Soak almonds in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Pre-heat oven to 160°C. Grease a deep 22cm (9 inch) round springform cake pan and line with baking paper.
- Place drained almonds, pistachio, sugar, cardamom and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl. Add egg, egg white and lemon rind. Mix well either with a wooden spoon or for a minute with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined.
- Spread mixture into prepared pan. Smooth the top. Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 1 1/4 hours until the top is golden and the cake has started browning around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool cake in the pan.
- Serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar if you prefer.
Thank you for your Awesome recipe
And by the way , Happy Birthday to my master cake maker
Hello! Just curious if I can make this using a nut other than almond. I’m making it for my bro who is allergic to sugar, almonds and wheat. Poor guy! But figured I could sub in walnuts or cashews and maple syrup for the sugar. Any thoughts?
Hi Britni, you can definitely swap the almond for any other nut you prefer. I would go with something like pecan, cashew, macadamia if possible as pistachio has a very delicate flavour and you don't want to overpower that with a stronger flavour like walnut. If your brother isn't allergic to unrefined sugar like rapadura or panels, you could use that as the sugar adds a drier texture to the cake. I haven't tried with maple syrup, you can most definitely bake with that too. If you find the batter consistency too runny with the addition of maple syrup, just add more nut meal to get the right consistency. Cheers!
Hi I came across this recipe and I'm so excited to try it.But I have a question-doesn't the lack of butter make it dry?
Not at all. It is not moist like cake but more like a dense, chewy cookie if that makes sense. Think of nut butter, nut meal and eggs mixed together .. that is exactly what this is and it is delicious!
Hi there! I am not a baker, but I’m a sucker for pistachios and with flour being hard to come by these days, I jumped on this recipe! The taste was great, but my cake turned out so much thinner than yours. I only have a 10 inch spring pan, so that’s likely part of the problem, but I was wondering if I should have whisked the eggs or something before adding them to the dry ingredients? Thanks for sharing this recipe - it truly is delicious! Reminded me of the texture/consistency of Italian almond cookies.
Thank you for your feedback Jenna and so glad you loved this cake! The cake is meant to be like a chewy cookie. In fact, for flourless cakes with egg, it is best to have a wider pan so the inside gets a chance to cook thoroughly. A smaller pan would mean running the risk of having the inside not cooked properly. Also, because of the cake not having any raising agent like baking powder/soda, it is less likely to rise and have height. If you used an electric whisk to mix everything that would give you the right amount of aeration in the batter but if you just whisked by hand with a wooden spoon (which is what I do), that is fine too.
This looks divine! Is there a way to do it without the sugar though? What would be a substitute?
You could try pulverised dates? Quantity to taste, the recipe is so forgiving that you could experiment with any natural sweetener of your liking and it will still turn out chewy and moist. x
I just got hold of some pistachios and was looking for a flourless nut cake recipe to use them--this looks like it! It looks delicious and I can't wait to try it. However, I already have almond flour so I'm thinking to skip that step. How much almond flour should I use in place of the almonds? I'm thinking it should be less than the two cups, but I don't know. What do you suggest?
You are right, go with a cup and three quarters or even a cup and half and see if the batter is the right consistency. x
Could I use raw cashews instead of almonds and still pistachios..?? Thanks!
Yes, you could. Although pulse it a bit less as cashews tend to go creamy and oily much more and quickly than almonds. Alternatively, use a drier nut like hazelnut or pecan, that would work too!
Do I need to whip the egg whites at all?
Louise, no you don't. I mix the egg and egg whites into the nut mix with an electric mixer for a minute or two. Often, I will just mix it really well with a wooden spoon instead. The results are the same. You can't go wrong with over beating this as it is gluten free and comprises only of nuts. The cake is moist, dense and a bit chewy in parts. x
This cake looks absolutely amazing, I was wondering though whether you wisk the eggwhites at all or just add them in? The instructions really don't clarify!
Cheers Daniela! You just add them in, no whisking 🙂 x
Hi Sneh, The flourless pistachios cake was simply delicious and it was packed full of flavour . I used coconut sugar instead of raw sugar and reduced to 3/4 cup instead of one cup and it came out perfect. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.
wonderful Angeline! Happy to hear you loved the cake. x
do raw nuts need to be used?
Thank you so much for sharing this pistachio cake recipe! Have you by any chance tried replacing the sugar with maple syrup? I do this often with over recipes when I'm baking. I try to stay away from sugar as much as possible.
Thank you again for sharing this amazing recipe!!!
Hey - any conclusion on replacing raw sugar with maple syrup? How much of the maple syrup would be needed - in terms of not ruining the cake structure when replacing solids with liquid ingredients (as opposed to the answer of "depending how sweet I want the cake")? Would love to know!
Nicole Is it for the caramel taste or the health factor that you want to sub raw sugar for maple syrup? If it is for the health factor, I would sub rapadura sugar (unrefined) for the regular raw sugar as rapadura has the same caramel tones of maple syrup. You will get a similar taste without the extra stodginess from the liquid. Hope that helps x
Simply for the health factor. Trying to eliminate sugars
What can I use as a substitute for eggs in your recipes as i am a vegetarian? thank you
Another lovely recipe! It was lovely served with ricotta "pudding" -whipped ricotta cheese with sugar and a pinch of ground cardamom.
Since I had made nigella's clementine almond cake I simplified and subbed 5 whole eggs for the egg whites and added baking powder.
Hi, I was wondering why the cake has no butter in it? Isn't it too dry without butter? I want to make it today!
Hi Sneh! I'm glad that I found your blog. I tried this flourless pistachio cake last week after reading this here. I thought I did great, my entire family liked it as well. I'm going to do this again in the simple gathering with my friends.
Hi Sneh!! Huge fan of yours here. I am going to make this gorgeous cake and ship it to my brother for his birthday. I predict he'll eat the whole cake in one day. But first I'll have to make a "TEST CAKE" at home and we'll have to "Test-Eat" the whole thing to be sure it's perfect. (WINKY FACE). Quick question please: one does not need to beat the egg whites with an egg beater? (which I don't have). Simply mix them in well with a fork or whisk? Also, I have loved your blog for a couple of years and you are a household name in my home. We'd like to know how to pronounce your first name. xo from huge fan in the US -- from America and New Delhi respectively.
Hi, is there any answer on the egg whites? Dying to make this but struggling with the thought of not whisking them.
You could whisk them by hand real fast using a balloon whisk. That works too. Just make sure the mix is frothy, you don't really need a machine so it should work 🙂
Looks great. Wondering if you could sub honey or maple syrup for the sugar?
Did you try subbing honey or maple syrup? I was thinking about doing the same and wondered how yours turned out!
Happy belated BDay Sneh! I can really see what you mean by only wanting more and more simple things for your birthday as you get older – I am very much the same. The cake looks fabulous and one that I know I would like. My birthday is in a month so who knows, I might try it on that occasion! 🙂
How delicious! And such lovely photos.
I would give this book to my dear best friend, Casi. Casi has only recently learned how to cook and is loving experimenting with new ways to cook from my blog and other blogs I send her. She would treasure this book and try things she has never dreamed of!
I, of course would just drool over all the pictures and cook my way through it with love.
I have taken my birthday off since seventh or eighth grade. It's important to me and has become a tradition. I'm not quite at that independent point in life you describe, but I hope I will be soon.
This cake look fabulous. The color and texture are so inviting.
this cake reminds me of the pistachio cake in "silkroad cooking: a vegetarian journey." it's a great cake.
i'm going to try this one. this looks tasty.
Made this cake on Monday. Absolutely Divine.. So easy to make Thank you.
I would love to win a copy of your book for my mum because I just know she would love it. She loves cooking and I'm sure she would be inspired by your amazing recipes and pictures. Of course I would get to try all that wonderful food. She is a big fan of your blog, and she would get all your inspirational recipes to keep.
Deliciouso! I have a coworker who also has a gluten problem. She would love your cookbook. What a lovely giveaway.
Definitely adding this to my "must make" list - I love anything Pistachio flavoured!
I would love to give a copy to one of my best friends, George. Working full-time with a gorgeous 3 y.o and another on the way in October, she is my inspiration. I never hear her complain about how busy, tired, stressed she is, and she always finds the time to do nice things for other people. Like me, she loves cooking, and would love a treat like this!
I'd love the book for my mom, she loves to cook & bake and is old school about it (cookbooks, not websites!)
This cake looks amazing! And I LOVED the movie. My husband (non-foodie) didn't get it. I was like, "it was sooo good!." Happy Birthday :>
I'm going to try this yummy looking cake to celebrate my birthday!!! Thank you for being the inspiration that you are!
Could you make this in s loaf pan?
I love the sound of this cake - nuts are tops. Happy belated birthday! But wait until you are really old before using the 'O' word. I would love to be 37 again, things would be very different.
I would like to nominate my darling husband to win a copy of your book. He loves Indian food, he loves to cook and he loves me, which is a very good thing since I have a physical disability (accident) and can no longer cook. He deserves a little recognition for all the hard work he does keeping us fed, housed, clothed and clean.
The movie sounds great too, and if it is on in this small town, we will go and see it. I love Helen Mirren, she is a very fine actor and the story sounds good too.
I would love to give our friend Adam your book. So who is Adam? Adam is:
* the sort of person whose friendship (with his wife Bree) seriously adds to our 'quality of life'
* younger than our youngest son, yet the difference in our ages is invisible
* a purist and a bespoke jeweler by trade
* needs a lot of cheering up because he fully imported an original 60's Vespa from Vietnam and has been unable to ride it because of unending mechanical/electrical troubles. This is a seriously recalcitrant Vespa, and it is doing his head in! We don't talk about it any more 🙁
* the son of my best running buddy Louise, and they have included us in so many epic family feasts, where usually Adam presides in the kitchen, putting together an amazing meal for over 20 and maintains a quiet, focused demeanor while most people would be hitting the 'PANIC' button
* the sort of visitor who walks into my kitchen, rummages through the fridge and pantry, and then decides what we are all having for dinner
* the sort of guest who notices the little things others dont, and makes me feel very very clever indeed when he looks up after savoring the first few mouthfuls, and quietly declares..."this is good".
I am thinking Sneh, that as an author, you feel like you have given birth to something very personal in your book Tasty Express, and I am quiet sure that our friend Adam will respect your effort, and notice the finest details of what you have laboured over for months. He will love the simplicity of the recipes, the stripped back style of your cooking, the purist element is something he utterly 'gets', and he will notice everything from the lighting and composition of the photographs to the choice of font in your text.
And finally, another reason I would like to give Adam your book is because I know it will be passed around the extended family across a distance of 15 km and eventually end up temporarily on loan in my kitchen.
Great post, Janita!
I really hope that you and Adam win the book, you both sound like lovely people... :O)
Hi, the cake looks delicious. Really want to taste it now. Love the color!!
I wanted to ask, what would you say can be a good replacement for the cup of raw sugar? Because i love the other ingredients, im a nut lover, but lets say that for another treat, may be honey?
Hope to hear soon.
I would love to give this cookbook to my friend Julia, who has just developed a cookbook obsession and is hurtling down the wholefoods alley! This recipe looks amazing and is perfect for her (i will be sharing) as she is currently trying gluten free 🙂
What a gorgeous book! I have a very stylish friend who would LOVE it. I would definitely give it to her because she is the type that pays attention and makes things beautiful, which is what is needed for your recipes!
I have a question, is it possible to use almond flour instead of soaking almond? If yes how much shall I use?
It's funny, I just turned 36 last month and was telling my husband the number feels all wrong. I'm somewhere between 28-29! Luckily we feel young. This cake is gorgeous.
Happy belated birthday Sneh. I am looking forward to seeing that movie, it's on the list... I would live to give your book cook to my boyfriend so that he can spoil me from time to tjme in the kitchen (instead if the other way round). Love your blog and recipes x
Happy Birthday, Sneh!! I'm a relatively new reader but you amaze me with your creativity, delicious & innovative recipes, gorgeous photography, and great stories. Thank you for sharing your cooking world with us. Can't wait to get my hands on your book!
Oh and this pistachio cake looks luscious. Next time a nutty cake craving hits, I have to remember this recipe.
Greetings all the way from Finland,
Dutch version of your book? That's amazing news! What publisher? Please let me know if you're coming to Amsterdam, I'd love to show you around in my city:)
And happy birthday! Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate.
Happy birthday... sounds like a good one... I always have the day off on my birthday... that's because it's on Boxing Day : D I too saw The Hundred Foot Journey mid morning... and it is wonderful being retired and going to the movies at that time of the day... though at 55 I don't consider myself a senior just yet. Lovely recipe... yum.
Happy Belated Birthday Sneh!
Glad you got to enjoy your day with a movie...such a simple pleasure, but one that we don't get to enjoy as often as life takes over.
I would like to win the book for my darling friend K who is going through a very tough time at the moment in her personal life. She loves to cook and she finds it a very cathartic way to get through her day. As I am one day away from having my second child, I thought it would be a wonderful surprise to give her when she pops in for a visit to see the baby!
Happy birthday Sneh!
I would love to win your cookbook to share with my friend and ex-colleague who is of South Asian origin as well but always looking to broaden her culinary repertoire!
Your book would be for my older sister (& friend!) Anna - because she is as cool and interesting as your recipes are, and while she is a busy busy bee, she never fails to deliver taste. Tasty Express sounds like a plan!
Happy birthday to you Sneh, and congratulations on the book! This cake looks exquisite - I'm a sucker for anything with pistachio and cardamom. I can't wait to see that movie now - thanks for the recommendation.
This is seriously my kind of cake! I will be making this next week! As for your cookbook, uh, it would be for me, because I love your blog!
This is seriously my kind of cake! I will be making this next week! As for your cookbook, uh, it would be for me, because I love your blog!
awww happy belated birthday, sneh! that sounds like a wonderful way to spend your birthday 🙂 and this cake looks marvelous!!!! i have a pantry bursting with pistachios and almonds, so i see this in my near future....
Originally I purchased your cookbook for my neighbour however, when it arrived after glancing through it I couldn't part with it and kept it to myself (oops). So... I would love to give a copy to my lovely neighbour who has also just finished her kitchen Reno. 🙂
Saw the 100 foot journey last week with some friends during the day too and we loved it. Katie
that cake looks & sounds amazing!
& Happy Birthday 🙂
I would love to share your cooking with my daughter who is starting her culinary journey !
......maybe I was one of the senior cits at the movies 🙂
Awesome cake - on my "will definitely do" list.
I would love your cookbook for my sister-in-law and best friend Wendy, who lovingly and tirelessly supports me with my Chronic Pain condition. She listens, she lets me sob on her shoulder, she makes me laugh and then she feeds me 🙂
Hi, I would love for my cousin Jay to have this book. She always thinks outside the box when it comes to recipes and I love making cakes/cooking with her in general as we aren't afraid to experiment with new ingredients, textures sand tastes. We've made other recipes on this site together and I think she'd be thrilled to have the opportunity to make recipes that aren't on this blog.
It looks delicious! I wish pistacchios were less expensive here. As a matter of fact, they are quite a luxury in Switzerand....
It sounds like you had the perfect birthday.
I've come across many bloggers who celebrated their birthdays in August; and I had mine on Saturday.
So I'm dubbing August Cake Eating Month. This cake might just top the chart. 🙂
I would like to give this book to my girl friend who is recovering from an eating disorder... Part of her recovery was finding whole foods and the ability it gave her to feel internal wellness this would just help bring a smile to the tough journey ahead of her
Happy Belated Birthday! Thank you for the wonderful posting and simply scrumptious looking cake. I love, love, love pistachios and can't wait to try it.
I went to see "The Hundred Foot Journey" with my sister last week and really cannot speak highly enough of it. It's my sort of movie, beautifully filmed and the food shots were glorious. Luckily I had already had lunch otherwise the rumbling of my stomach would have drowned out the soundtrack!
Thank you, as always, for your blog reflections, glimpses of real-life joys, and fabulous healthy recipes. Food for the soul, on all accounts. I would like to nominate my sister-in-law and friend Lisa for the cookbook drawing. She consistently champions living life in the moment, finding the art in every thing and in every day, and relishing positive interactions with friends and family. It seems her every action springs from the heart, and I find her approach to life both rich and inspiring. She enjoys cooking, and loves to take time with the process yet also whip up ideas on a whim; I know she appreciates your approach and life perspective, and brilliant styling and photography. So, please consider Lisa for your cookbook treasure! Cheers.
This is my kind of cake! Bookmarked, for sure.
I'm sure my friend Eleanor would love a copy of your book - we have show and tell sessions with our latest cookbook finds, and she always appreciates my choices! She loves food, cooking, design, and her family, much like yourself. Her birthday is coming up at the end of September, and this would make a great present.
The cake is so beautiful and looks delicious Sneh!
So excited about your cookbook too, the BIGGEST of congratulations to you.!!
This cake looks divine... But then again, all your recipes do! I would love a copy of your book for my Mother-In-Law so that she can FINALLY stop complaining that she never has any good recipes to cook and that's why she relies so heavily on terrible processed foods!
Recipe looks Delish!! Happy birthday and thanks for all your great content. I'll keep my fingers crossed for the draw 🙂
Looks beautiful-all that green. Definitely going to try this one!
Happy belated birthday Sneh, and you've tempted me to watch that movie too!
Hope you had a wonderful birthday! This cake looks just lovely and perfect with tea, I love the mix of almonds and pistachios!
This cake looks gorgeous! Can't wait to try it (probably will have to before spring time!). Glad you had a nice day off for your birthday. I can't wait to see The Hundred Foot Journey!