Chocolate Chiffon Cake & Pistachio Ice Cream + 5 Quick Desserts for Back to School

I found this chocolate chiffon cake recipe while shuffling through some of my grandmother’s recipes Though I do not remember her making it she had it cut out and taped to a weathered and stained piece of paper. Maybe she hoped to make it one day, maybe there would be an occasion for it, or maybe she intended to make it on an ordinary day that called for chocolate cake. I don’t remember it though I wish I did. While I whisked together the dry ingredients I thought of all the things she may have intended to bake but never did- something unexpected came up for her as those things do. So many different directions are taken in one day, some directions chosen others happenstance. I finished making the cake and popped it into the oven, fingers were crossed it would taste like something she would make on a day when something or someone didn’t pull her away.

I paired this fluffy and moist chocolate cake with a simple chocolate ganache though her recipe called for chocolate icing. I think either will work here. I had just made a batch of her creamy and simple pistachio ice cream a few days prior and decided to add a scoop. The combination of rich chocolate and the nutty pistachio is delicious. I highly recommend it. I hope you enjoy these recipes.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Cake recipe slightly adapted from my grandmother

Chocolate Ganache recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Serves 10-12


½ cup dark cocoa powder

¾ cup boiling water

1 + ¾ cups cake flour (I used Softasilk)

1 + ¾ cups sugar

1 + ½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup vegetable oil

7 eggs, separated

3 teaspoons vanilla

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache:

 2 four-ounce bars of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup of heavy cream

Directions for cake:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Set aside an ungreased 10×4 inch tube pan.

Stir together cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth.  Set aside and allow to cool.  Using a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Make a well in the center and add oil, egg yolks, cocoa mixture, and vanilla. Mix using a wooden spoon until smooth. 

In a separate bowl, mix the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold in eggs white into the batter until just blended.  Pour batter into an ungreased tube pan. 

Place pan on the lowest rack in the oven and bake for about 55-60 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.  Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert it onto a bottle if the tube pan doesn’t haven’t legs.  Allow to cool completely. Once cool, run a knife along the sides and the tube to remove the cake.  Place the cake on a serving platter and pour the ganache over the cake spreading with a spatula and allowing the ganache to drip over the sides.  Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.  Enjoy!

Directions for ganache:

Heat cream in a small saucepan until just simmering. Poor cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Slowly whisk together the cream and chocolate until it is smooth.  The ganache will thicken as it cools.  Allow it cool for a few minutes then pour over the cake.

Pistachio Ice Cream

Recipe from my grandmother


2 cups cold heavy cream

2 cups cold light cream

1 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon almond extract

½ cup of chopped, unsalted pistachios

Directions: Pour all the ingredients except for the pistachios into a chilled bowl. Mix until combined.  Pour the ice cream mixture into your ice maker and follow the instructions based on your ice cream maker. Once the ice cream finishes churning fold in the pistachios.  Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze.  Enjoy!

5 Quick Desserts for Back to School

Craving cookies? Check out this recipe for fudgy chocolate drop cookies and this recipe for 3 variations of snickerdoodles- yes, please!

If you love a good blondie head here.

Quick and easy fudge brownies here.

Any interest in rice krispie treats with chocolate and pretzels? Head here.

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