Amrita’s Pistachio & Nutella Moist Cream Cheese Cake
Sunday 28th June 2020
It was Father’s Day last week, so my dad had a dessert request - banana and vanilla cheesecake.
I found a great recipe and was geared up to make it, but then realised we didn’t have all the ingredients and no one could be bothered to go shopping (it happens).
I saw this tiktok of someone adding cream cheese to a ready made box cake and it sounded right up my street, however I thought I could improve on it and make it my own.
It was PERFECT.
Honestly, I think it’s the best cake I’ve ever made. My dad loved it so much, the next day when I checked the cupboard there were only two slices left.
I wanted to play around with this recipe, and I’ve been dying to try pistachio paste for a while now. I saw Claire Saffitz use it in a recipe and it looked so beautiful and rich and I looove anything pistachio flavoured. Nutty, creamy, sweet.
The cream cheese in the initial version tasted a little too plain and cheesy for my liking - it wasn’t bad by any means, but it wasn’t amazing either. SO, I thought, why not add nutella?
Chocolate and pistachio? You can’t go wrong.
Now, onto this version.. I got a few things wrong.
But I’m the guinea pig so you don’t have to be!
A number of things contributed to the result not being perfect - my pan was too small, my greaseproof paper wasn’t big enough, and I opened the oven too many times.
Because my pan was too small, the outside browned quickly, but the centre was completely raw batter.
Big yikes. Panic mode.
It had been in the oven for an hour and still wasn’t even close to being cooked. Because I kept checking it every 10 minutes, the cake sunk in the middle, so the result wasn’t as fluffy as it should’ve been.
I covered the cake in foil, so the cake could keep cooking in the middle. The outsides were cooking, but the centre was still jiggly and raw. I must’ve left if in for a further 40 minutes; the last 10 with the oven turned off.
The cake still turned out delicious, but my mistakes made for a less than perfect result. I also think the added fat of the pistachio paste and nutella meant it needed more cooking time. Baking is a science, so naturally, trial and error is big part of the job.
I would’ve made this cake again just to get it perfect, but I’m also trying to be healthy and there’s already so much cake, I don’t need another one to add to that, loool.
So if you decide to try this - make sure your pan is big enough, line your tray enough to allow for rising, and don’t open the oven door for at least 45 mins to an hour!
In the original recipe where I didn’t make these mistakes, it took 1 hour to cook all the way through.
I would allow another 20 minutes at least for the added fat, but I think it also depends on your oven. So keep checking until your knife/fork/toothpick is clean.
Oh and another thing - apologies, I’ll stop talking and get to the recipe soon - the pistachio paste is delicious, but I think you can get the same taste if you just blanch and blend up a pack of pistachios and add it to the batter. Or buy some pistachio flavouring. I spent a tenner on the paste, but you do not need to unless you reaaaallly want to try it.
Oh wait, one more thing! I have no clue why this happens - science I guess? - but the cream cheese is poured on top of the cake batter, but when it comes out of the oven, it’ll be at the bottom. You can watch it happen in the oven, it’s fascinating. The weight of it, perhaps? I didn’t plan for it in the original recipe, but it turns out delicious, fluffy and moist, and that’s all that matters. Just letting you know if you were confused about it in the photos.
Okay PHEW I’m finally done.
TL;DR - Use a large enough pan, don’t open the oven until at least 45 mins have passed, use foil on top of the tray if it browns on the outside too quickly, you don’t need pistachio paste you can just blanch and blend pistachios. The nutella cream cheese goes on the top but will end up at the bottom after it’s cooked and I dunno why but it tastes good, so who cares.
2/3 cup butter
2 1/4 cup plain flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup granulated demerara sugar
1 1/4 cup oat milk
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 large eggs
2 tbsp pistachio paste
400g cream cheese
3 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp nutella
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp nutella for decoration
Preheat oven to 175 degrees celcius.
Line baking tray with parchment and lightly butter.
Add softened butter to a bowl and beat with electric whisk until light and fluffy.
Add flour and baking powder to butter and mix until fully combined.
Add sugar and combine.
Add milk, oil, flavourings, eggs and pistachio paste and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, add cream cheese.
Sift icing sugar and mix well.
Add eggs, vanilla, nutella and cocoa powder. Mix again until combined.
Pour the pistachio cake batter into pan and spread evenly.
Pour nutella cream cheese mix on top of the batter, spread evenly and gently (see video below).
Place in oven for 1 hour.
Check if cooked through with a toothpick after 1 hour. If the batter is still raw, cover the top with foil and place back in oven, check every 10 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
Once fully baked, remove from oven and dust icing sugar over the cake.
Melt a tbsp of nutella in the microwave for 1 minute and drizzle over the top with a spoon.
Wait until completely coo. before removing gently from pan.
Serve with a cup of tea or ice cream!
It tastes beauuuutiful with Haagen Dazs peanut butter ice cream.
Don’t over mix! Mix until combined and no longer.
If you didn’t read the part where I’m talking at the top and you're an amateur baker like me, you probably should if you don’t want to make the same mistakes I did!
If you want to skip the pistachios altogether, almond extract makes it taste like a cherry bakewell. TOO GOOD. Would be amazing with lemon too!