dark chocolate pistachio torte


If you follow me on Instagram you’d probably already be party to my big news of the month. Three weeks ago, Aaron and I adopted a tiny chocolate brown poodle x mini pinscher puppy (a ‘pinny poo‘) with golden eyes and a wispy grandpa beard.

Subsequently, our night life has transitioned from drinks with friends to pee puddles, gushing swoons (when he frets in his sleep, so cute) and copious amounts of mashed sweet potato (not entirely new, but this time with minced chicken and puppy biscuits). It’s been a beautiful learning experience, for both teeny pup and his proud new parents.

lokisleep lokiears

If you’re wondering what his name is, that admittedly took a day or two (I’m predicting a week of baby-without-a-name when Aaron and I make a human). We finally settled on Loki, more for its cuteness than mythology or semantics. It seems to suit him.

Names aside – I’ve come to a few realizations about pet ownership over the past three weeks. First and foremost, it’s much harder to cook with a puppy sitting on your feet. Secondly, it’s impossible to type when a puppy is gnawing on your keyboard; stern words and distraction techniques are required.

Thirdly? I wouldn’t have it any other way.



Anyway, chocolate brown puppies aside, let’s get back to the real purpose of this post. CAKE. Or rather, a recipe for dark chocolate and pistachio torte.

This dark, rich slab of heaven was baked as a birthday gift for a very special work friend of mine, Belinda. Despite many challenges of her own, this amazing woman has been a steadfast source of encouragement, support and grace throughout the past two years. I’m grateful that life brought us together.

Thanks Bels, for all you are and all you do.


Strangely enough, I wrote notes whilst baking this cake (a scattered occurrence, to say the least). And just as well, as I’ve been asked for the recipe at least five times since the cake was baked.

So, a few nights ago I gathered my crumpled notes and typed out a semblance of a recipe. It’s dead easy, inspired by Nigella Lawson’s chocolate and pistachio fudge and a similar recipe of hers which I believe was published in her cookbook, How to be a Domestic Goddess (which I do not own, so admittedly the reference is vague).

This cake is deeply chocolatey, complex and densely moist. Ground pistachios add both texture and flavour to the cake batter, whilst orange blossom and dusky rose provide sweet fragrance to the rich, shiny ganache.

I hope you love it as much as we did.


Dark Chocolate Pistachio Torte

Makes one 23cm round cake

  • 150g dark (at least 60% cocoa) chocolate
  • 150g raw caster sugar
  • 150g shelled pistachio nuts
  • 150g soft unsalted butter
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • pinch sea salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (356 degrees f). Grease and line a 23cm round springform cake tin, then set aside.

Place the pistachio nuts and caster sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture reaches a fine meal.

nuts meal

Melt together the butter and chocolate over a double boiler. When thick and glossy, remove from the heat and add to the processed nut mixture with a pinch of sea salt. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time, ensuring they’re fully combined. Set aside.


In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they reach firm peaks. Add a large spoonful of egg white to the chocolate mixture and vigorously fold in (you need to chocolate mixture to loosen).


Add the loosened cake batter to the rest of the egg whites and fold in gently but firmly until no large patches of egg white remain. Pour the cake batter into your prepared tin.

Transfer into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until risen and firm when touched in the centre.


Allow the cake to cool in the tin, then refrigerate for at least one hour before icing with ganache (recipe below).


Orange Blossom Ganache

  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 150ml thick cream
  • 1/4 tsp orange blossom water
  • optional: 1-2 tbsp roasted, crushed pistachio nuts + 5-6 dried organic (unsprayed) rosebuds, crushed.

Melt the chocolate and cream together over a double boiler until smooth. Remove from the heat and add in the splash of orange blossom water. Keep mixing until the mixture is thick and glossy.

Cool slightly then pour or spread over your cooled cake. Use a palette or butter knife to smooth out any extra-thick patches.


Sprinkle the edge of your cake with the pistachio and rose mixture, if using.

sidecu*Another big thanks to our dear friends Shawn and Erin for providing us with fresh, home-laid eggs from your chicken coop over the past few weeks. Seriously blessed <3


84 responses

  1. Congratulations Laura and Aaron on the adorable addition to your family, Loki is such a cutie. You will be blessed with so many good times with him and so much love. Your cake is gorgeous, I think pistachios are wonderful and have never used them as you would almond flour. Orange blossom and rose flavorings, love it!!

    • Thanks Suzanne! yes, definitely agree – it seems like our family is a little more complete now :) We adore him, he is such a smart and good little pup. Can’t wait to see him grow! As for the pistachio meal/flour, it worked so brilliantly. Such an earthy, savoury flavour within a chocolatey, moist batter. Yum! And yep, I had to go a bit Middle Eastern with this (as you know, I am obsessed!) xxx

  2. Oh dear good lord that is a good looking cake!
    I have seen a few good looking sweet thang recipes this year and I truly feel that I may actually get my bake on. This is a strange feeling…
    What is not strange though is the heart melting cutenest I feel looking at that (and every other) puppy. That’s all.

    • Bahaa… you’re going to rival Jennee-the-great in the pastry chef department?! Ooh, I think I need to book my ringside tickets now ;) Just kidding Graz, you could whip this up in no time. It’s seriously easy but ridiculously good. As for Loki? He has definitely won our hearts. That little rascal could get away with stealing my best eye fillet and I’d still swoon at his perky ears.

  3. “Loki and the cake”. What a post, designed to make everyone smile, drool and simper all in one go. It’s like everything that is good in the world: nuts, roses, chocolate, puppies, chocolate puppies … I’m so happy for you and Aaron! YIPEEEEEEEEEE!

    I think minpins and poodles are two of the best breeds ever, and you (you clever thing) have managed to combine both AS WELL as getting chocolate in there too. Loki is simply the cutest thing ever – alongside my Clems, of course, but I have to say that ;) She has little sleep twitches too – I like to think she’s dreaming of long walks and leaf catching.

    Happy days :)

    • Aw yay!! Yes we were thinking of getting a Yorkie too, but then saw this little one (after doing a bit of research I was sold on the pinnypoo idea) and fell in love. He is SO good, so smart and lovely, we couldn’t have picked a better dog! I do wish that Clems and Loki could meet, I think they are destined to at some point despite the distance and hemisphere stuff. Bah. That’s a small obstacle, right? ;) I also like to guess what Loki is dreaming about; my favourite part is when he does soft sleep-woofs, so adorable. And YES! Chocolate and chocolate puppies, doesn’t get much better than that! xxx

      • One day Laura, when we’re billionaires, I’ll fly over in a private (eco) jet and Clemmie can meet Loki and we can all have picnics and you can show me round. It will happen. Definitely :)

      • I’ll keep my prayers flying in that direction too… haha, we might have two geriatric little dogs by then, taking their first eco plane flight! But it WILL happen ;) xx

    • Thanks Sas! Haha, yes i wanted to go a bit further with the two chocolate aspects of this post but thought I shouldn’t drone on about Loki for too long. He is so lovely though, I am completely enamoured xxx

  4. Oooh this is one of my favourite posts for two reasons….it features one of the cutest puppies ever AND has a chocolate cake that I can indulge in! I absolutely looove Loki, those feet that nose he looks super kissable. Cannot wait until we get our dog … then our family will be complete :)

    • Ohhhh yay! Yes, gluten free for the win! :) As for the pup, I need to introduce him to you Martine, he is such a smart little thing! He is learning commands very fast and also loves to snuggle which makes my heart melt! What dog are you intending to get? Oh yay! How exciting!! Thanks for the lovely words xxx

      • Definitely need to organise a meet…just be warned I might steal him! We are hoping to get a rescue whippet or greyhound….as long as they are cat friendly of course!

      • Oh, a whippet was our next choice, maybe when we have a proper house we might get a playmate for Loki! Haha… I think he’d adore meeting you. Maybe an alfresco Precinct catch up some time soon xx

  5. Congratulations on your new family member! I love baking while I’m at Mum and Dad’s place because Molly is the best baking companion. She lets me waffle on about whatever and just sits there with her chocolate brown eyes trained on me whatever I am doing. She is super distracting though – there’s nothing like snuggles with your furry friend! Loki looks like he’s going to be a wonderful ‘wolf in the kitchen’ too :)
    Now, about this cake! Oh my goodness! I am a pistachio lover! And chocolate – always :) I can’t wait to make this. Perhaps a sophisticated New Years dessert :)

    • Oh definitely Amy! It does look quite sophisticated on the table, particularly with the pretty flecks of green and pink :) Molly sounds beautiful. You’re entirely right, distraction is the word… I had to watch little Loki’s nose as I pulled things out of the oven, too. He wants to sniff everything! Thanks for the lovely comment. Have a beautiful Christmas Amy, hugs xx

  6. I saw Loki on IG, he’s soooooo cute! Congrats! And this torte is pretty decadent looking! Love the photos, especially the light in them. I’ve been meaning to make a chocolatey cake but just haven’t got around to it, looks like I’m missing out, this looks fab!

    Nazneen x

    • Aw thanks lovely! Yes, the half light was so beautiful that day. I was glad I managed to capture it :) As for Loki, I am so, so happy we took the plunge! He is the sweetest little dog, can’t wait to see him grow. Merry Christmas Nazneen! Xxx

  7. So, much to say. That puppy is a real cutie, Laura, the 2 pics offering such a contrast. In the first, like all sleeping puppies, he looks so peaceful, even angelic. In the 2nd, his bright eyes and puppy stance gives me the impression he is but an instant from bolting away to get into mischief somewhere, somehow. How can you not live him?
    As if that wasn’t enough, you have to share this torte recipe with us — and photos, too. I was getting dizzy, my eyes darting back and forth: puppy, torte, puppy, torte … I had to get a cocktail to break the cycle. (See how I worked that in. Thanks!)
    Great post, Laura. Loved it.

    • Hahhaa, I love this John! And yes you are right, he is such a spirited little pup! He is obedient though, we’re lucky so far… And he’s a smart little thing. Mmm, cocktails… Good call!

  8. Loki is sooooooo cute! I want one (minus the piddling and the gnawing)! Oh, and I will take a slice, too. I am beginning to think you like chocolate. :) Hope things are shaping up for a wonderful holiday season! xo

    • Haha… yes indeed, David! I’m not much of a person for sweets/candy but chocolate is definitely close to my heart. Thanks for the lovely words – ditto back to you re Christmas planning! Happy holidays to you and Markipedia xo

  9. I love a rich chocolate torte, there is something so inexplicably addictive about it! Your photos are forcing me to go eat chocolate now I am not even kidding you!
    And Loki? Adorable <3

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. Congratulations on the new addition to your family! He is adorable. And I don’t think I have to even say how gorgeous the cake is. Pistachio is my favourite nut and I am sure this is incredibly tasty too. Love the way you have captured the light Laura..so beautiful!

  11. Laura, congratulations on your new little one! Loki is adorable; may you have many happy years playing together =) And this cake looks divine! Can’t go wrong with dark chocolate and pistachio. Hope all is well; big hugs! xo

    • Naw, thanks so much lovely! Same back at you, hope that you guys had a beautiful Christmas and an even better start to the new year. Can’t wait to share more adventures and stories with you xxx

  12. What a gorgeous puppy and what a delicious looking and sounding cake! I have really missed your blog and my blogging friends but am struggling to do all the things I need to do at the moment, despite all my best intentions. Reading blogs properly again is on my new year’s resolution list and am looking forward to following yours again properly.

    • Aw, thanks so much lovely. I can definitely relate to the struggle, I’m behind on pretty much everything I’ve intended to do over the past month. And I made a personal decision a long time ago that I wouldn’t comment on blog posts unless I’ve read them PROPERLY so… well, I’ve got quite a lot of posts in my ‘read later’ folder ;) But hey, it’s a new year and we will get there. Take some time to rest if need be, all the best for the new year and thanks for being a lovely blogging friend. It means a lot and I love visiting your gorgeous blog xx

      • I think you are absolutely right on the commenting – it’s often very obvious when people have just commented in the hope that you will go and look at their posts! That’s one of the reasons I am always so behind with reading blogs – I want to give them my full attention and comment on them but it is really difficult to do from my phone and I often read them when I am waiting for something. Here’s to a more productive New Year!

      • Absolutely agree Rachel, on all of the above! It’s definitely so time consuming though (despite being fun) so I guess we have to go easy on ourselves in the knowledge that our blogging friends can understand and relate! Thanks for riding the journey which me – you were one of my really early blogging friends so it’s a privilege to still be in contact :)

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  14. I’m finally getting to some of the recipes/posts that have been patiently waiting in my inbox, and I thoroughly enjoyed every word (and photo) of this! You had me at grandpa beard, pee puddles, and gnawing on your keyboard. Haha, I can totally relate. And then your CAKE- ohmysweetgoodness! Wow. I don’t often like nuts in baked goods, but I can’t even imagine not liking this cake. I will have to make it for my dad or brother one of these days– They are crazy for pistachios! Okay, that first photo after the last of Loki: is that where pistachios come from? Flowers?? I’ve never seen them in that form!
    Beautiful post, as always. Can’t wait to try this recipe!
    Love and hugs! xxx

    • Aw, thanks so much Ali. Haha… it’s so adorable but so annoying! The cake worked out so well. I loved it, and every version that I know people have tried (with different nuts like macadamias or walnuts) have worked so well! I’m almost calling it fail-safe now ;) As for the flowers, they’re the dried rosebuds that I crushed and sprinkled around the edge of the cake… definitely not pistachios, though I can understand how you got it mixed up!! I’ve never seen a pistachio on a bush/tree but I know they just come in the hard cases. Now I’m curious! Sending you lots of love and hugs, thanks SO MUCH for being the most beautiful blogging and real life friend. So glad that the internet brought us together xxx

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    • You too Caeli, so nice to now see your posts on Insta too! Good luck with the puppy persuasion, haha… they’re just the best. Makes my face light up every time I see his little puppy nose xx

  16. Laura, first off, happy new year!! ok, Loki is the cutest!!! what a sweet addition to your family and this is good practice for you and Aaron, when you guys do “make a human” :) and this cake?!! Dark Chocolate Pistachio Torte with Orange Blossom Ganache?!!! Wow, looks soooo good! you had me at the pistachios and then put this cake over the top with that ganache. stunning!!

    • Oh thanks Alice! Haha, yes indeed, we are finding that there are many good training elements for ‘parenting’ when you own a puppy. For example, we need to bring his little pack of stuff everywhere and very often have to stop him from eating all sorts of things. Let’s hope that it’ll put us in good stead for pregnancy and parenting! Sending you hugs, thanks beautiful xxx

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