Fresh avocados, with their mild flavour and texture, are gaining popularity among chefs and home cooks for use in desserts.
Here is a decadent cake to try at home. The Creme Anglaise can be made a day ahead.
Chocolate Pistachio Cake
• 170 (6 oz) pistachios, shelled
• 250 ml (1 cup) sugar, divided
• 190 g (7 oz) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped in food processor
• 170 (6 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 2.5-cm (1-inch) pieces
• 15 ml (1 tbsp) flour
• 4 eggs, separated
• 2 ripe fresh avocados, peeled, seeded and diced
• 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
• 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) cream of tartar
• Powdered sugar
• Creme Anglaise
1. Preheat oven to 150 C (300 F). On a baking sheet, arrange pistachios and place in oven for about 15 minutes to toast nuts until they are dry and aromatic. Stir pistachios occasionally, being careful not to let them brown; let cool completely. Finely grind nuts in food processor with 50 ml (1/4 cup) sugar and the flour, pulsing on/off, until the consistency of fine meal.
2. Increase oven heat to 180 C (350 F). Butter a 20-cm (8-inch) springform pan, line with parchment paper, then turn paper over.
3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter and microwave on medium power for 2 1/2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg yolks with the whisk attachment. Gradually add 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the sugar and continue beating until yolks are thick. Add avocados, increase speed and beat until smooth. Reduce speed to low and gradually stir in vanilla, chocolate and nut mixtures.
4. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar on medium speed until peaks form. Add 50 ml (1/4 cup) sugar, 15 ml (1 tbsp) at a time, and continue beating until stiff but not dry. Gently fold beaten whites into yolk mixture (yolk mixture will be very thick). Fold yolk mixture back into remaining whites. Pour into prepared pan. Tap pan on work surface and smooth top with a spatula to level. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out almost clean. Allow cake to cool in pan.
5. Remove sides of springform pan and, using a long spatula, slide the cake off the paper onto the serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Ladle Creme Anglaise into the centre of each dessert plate, place a wedge of cake in the centre of the plate and serve immediately.