To prepare sauce, combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 2 cups (about 30 minutes). Chill.
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, place pistachios in a food processor; process until finely ground. Sprinkle ground pistachios over bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.
Combine 1 cup sugar and water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate and salt, stirring until chocolate melts. Add cocoa, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in extracts.
Beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out nearly clean. Cool to room temperature; run a knife around outside edge. Serve with sauce.
This is one of the best cakes I have made! The pistachio crumb "crust" is such a perfect little crunchy and salty contrast to the rich and moist cake. My book club when crazy for this cake and kept shaving off extra "slivers". For the sauce, since I am allergic to wine, I used balsamic vinegar (only 1-2 tablespoons) instead. It was tart and heavenly and definitely takes this cake to the next level.
My cake was incredibly moist, possibly a little undercooked. Not the best chocolate cake ever, but perfect for Passover. I used sliced almonds for the crust rather than the pistachios. The sauce was a huge hit, I would make it again as a topping for other desserts.
The cherry red wine sauce was delicious! I would definitely make this sauce again with a different chocolate cake or ice cream.
However, the cake was dry. This may not be the right word, but even without flour the cake was dry, rather than light and fluffy.
I made this for my boyfriend's mother's passover dinner. She had invited her friends from her Wine Club, so it was appropriate. Instead of pistachios I used almond slivers. (I actually served the cake upside down because the almonds looked so pretty on the bottom!) The cake was very good, kind of like a dark-chocolate brownie. It was excellent with the sauce. I simmered the sauce for longer than what the recipe said to get it to sauce consistency. Don't skip the almond extract, it really adds to the flavor. Everyone loved the flavors of the cake and was impressed in general.
I served this Easter dinner to a table comprising Jews and Christians over three generations. Everyone raved. This was during the pistachio salmonella scare so I used regular peanuts and it was still delicious. I cooked the sauce probably double the recommended time and still never got a real "syrup" consistency, but it was delicious anyway.
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