Yesterday we participated in an event called Bimbimbici (children on bikes) organized by an association that is trying to make Italian cities more bike friendly. It was a beautiful day and since we recently bought our daughter a new bike it seemed like the perfect occasion to take her out for a ride. A friend kindly lent us a bike with child seat (mine broke and I haven't replaced it yet) and so our youngest also got his first chance to ride on the back of my bike.
Needless to say he loved it and had a smile stamped on his face for most of the ride (expect when the many bikes had to turn into a smaller street making us stand in the scorching sun for a few minutes; he was quick to let everyone know how unhappy he was). Our daughter could not believe that she could finally get off the sidewalk and ride in the middle of the street, with actual policemen standing all over stopping cars to let us pass.
My husband was especially happy pedalling around town looking at all the black and red flags hanging out of windows, after his soccer team won the Serie A title on Saturday night.
So to celebrate I made this little treat for him. The man loves pistachios and Reeses' almost as much as his team and always fights the temptation of bringing back a few suitcases of the latter whenever we travel to the States. I read this wonderful recipe a while back on Heavenly Housewife's blog and fell in love instantly. I went out and bought a few bags of pistachios and have been waiting for the time and occasion to make these.
What can I say? It is impossbile for the combination of dark chocolate (I adapted the recipe and only used 70% chocolate instead of a mix if semi sweet and milk chocolate) and pistachio not to be sublime. Of course now that my husband know these can be made at home instead of in some magical secret laboratory somewhere in the US, he will be expecting peanut butter cups too. Good wife that I am, how can I not oblige him? ;o)
My advice is not to make these because they are addictive. But if you really want to (don't say I didn't warn you), the first step in this recipe is making a lovely pistachio butter by toasting the nuts until your kitchen smells delicious and then grinding them to a luscious green spread. You can make a lot of it like I did and store it in your fridge in a sealed jar to use in a pasta sauce or to smother onto crostini. By adding sugar and butter you will get an even better pistachio paste to fill these cups. I have some of this left too and I intend to try making some other form of dessert with it.
280gr shelled and peeled pistachios
3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
3 tsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil - you can also use water if you prefer)
Ingredients for pistachio paste (for filling)
1/2 cup or 125gr pistachio butter
2 tbsp or 28gr butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup or 55gr icing sugar
Ingredients for chocolate coating
18 oz. or 500gr semi sweet chocolate (70%), coarsely chopped
1tbsp or 10gr butter (the original recipe called for shortening, which I didn't have)
Toast pistachios until you start smelling them and then place them and salt into a food processor and process until the nuts turn into a smooth paste (if you want to decorate the cups with some ground pistachio, set some aside now). This will take a while, so don't give up. Drizzle in the oil while the nuts are being ground. Keep processing until smooth. That's it, you now have some delicious pistachio butter to use anyway you like.
If you cannot resist the pistachio/chocolate combination, start making a sweetened pistachio paste by softening the pistachio butter, butter and salt in the microwave, trying not to melt it. Stir in the icing sugar. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Lay out about 30 small miniature paper cups for cupcakes on a tray. Drop in about a teaspoon of the melted chocolate, then a teaspoon of pistachio paste and top it off with another teaspoon of chocolate. If you like you can decorate them with a pistachio nut or some ground up pistachios. Refrigerate on a tray and when they are set store them in an airtight container in your fridge.
Thank you to Manu from Manu's Menu for once again thinking of me for these awards. Since I recently awarded several of my favorite blogs with these, I decided to pass these on to some of my more recent favorite reads.
So here is to you:
La Caffettiera Rosa, Traveler's Lunchbox, Honestly Good Food, From the Bookshelf, Eat Tori, Scarletta Bakes, One Perfect Bite, and last in order of discovery but not least Global Table Adventure.