Pistachio and Chestnut Cream Mousse Cake

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 4h 30m

Serves 8

The pleasant green hue of pistachio paste has long made it a popular addition to mousses and ice creams. Look for pistachio paste and chestnut purée in specialty-food shops or prepare your own in a food processor.


  • Genoise layer, 1/2 inch thick
  • Creme Anglaise
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in 1/2 lengthwise
  • 4 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 gelatin leaves
  • 1 ounce pistachio paste
  • 2 ounces chestnut puree
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Companion recipe: Hazelnut and Roasted Almond Mousse Cake


Make the génoise as directed and let cool completely.

To make the crème anglaise, combine the milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar. As soon as the milk boils, remove from the heat. Remove the vanilla bean and, using a knife tip, scrape the seeds into the milk. Discard the bean.

Pour 1/2 of the boiling milk into the bowl holding the egg mixture, whisking vigorously. Return the pan to the heat, bring the milk to a boil and pour the egg mixture into the pan, whisking continuously. Stir over medium heat until the custard lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 2-3 minutes. You should have about 1 cup. Remove from the heat, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and let cool.

Place 2 gelatin leaves each in 2 small bowls. Add water to cover to both bowls. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.

Combine 1/2 cup of the cooled custard and the pistachio paste in a blender and mix on high speed until smooth, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a small saucepan over medium heat and heat until warm. Lift out 2 of the gelatin leaves and add to the warm custard. Whisk to mix well and set aside.

Put the remaining custard and the chestnut purée in a blender and mix on high speed until smooth, about 15 seconds. Transfer to another small saucepan over medium heat and heat until warm. Lift out the remaining 2 leaves, add to the chestnut custard and whisk well. Set aside.

Place 3/4 cup of the cream in a bowl. Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat until soft peaks form. Add the pistachio custard and beat on low just until combined, about 30 seconds.

Place the génoise in a springform pan 10 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep. Pour the pistachio custard over the génoise, and refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.

Whip the remaining cream and beat in the chestnut custard in the same way. Pour the chestnut custard over the set pistachio custard, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

To unmold, run hot water over a knife blade, wipe dry and slide the blade between the mousse and the pan sides. Release the pan sides and slide the cake onto a plate. Sprinkle on the pistachio nuts and sift the confectioners’ sugar over the top.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 746

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