Esther Apoussidis of Coffee Continental in Blackwood has a Chocolate Pistachio Gateau recipe

Chocolate Pistachio Gateau

Ingredients for Cake base

4 eggs (and 5 tbsp cold water)

175g sugar

60g plain flour

30g cornflour

30g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powde

Ingredients: Filling/Topping

500ml double/whipping cream

50g pistachios (shelled)

Colourful sugar coated, marzipan or chocolate mini eggs plus marzipan / chocolate bunnies

Directions for Base

Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites with 5 tablespoons of cold water until stiff. Blend together the egg yolks.

Sprinkle the sugar into the egg whites and then stir in the egg yolks.

In a separate bowl, mix together rest of the (dry) ingredients and then carefully fold into the egg mixture. Do not over-mix, keep whites aerated.

Grease and line a round baking tin (dia. 24 cm). Pour mixture into tin, then place in a pre-heated oven at 200 °C for 25-30 minutes. Once baked, leave to cool on a wire rack.Once cool, cut horizontally through cake twice to create 3 layers.

Directions for the Filling/Topping

Beat 400ml of cream in a clean bowl until stiff. Finely chop pistachio nuts. Stir half the chopped pistachios into the whipped cream. Using the pistachio cream cover and assemble the cake, layer by layer, finishing by covering the outer cake edge. Whip the remaining cream in a separate, clean bowl until stiff. Pipe little nests on to the top of the cake. Why not also decorate with some chocolate or with your own homemade marzipan.These can be made by shaping two small eggs out of marzipan (in the photo marzipan has been blended with a few tablespoons of chopped pistachios for extra flavour and colour. Then cut a slit into the tapering or narrow end of each egg (about half way in) and then flattening the tips of both the edge slightly. Finally place one “split” on top of the other, using a little water to help stick the two halves in place. You can also decorate edge of cake with halved pistachios.