Explore Leiths Diploma Open House – 5th June 2024


Skye McAlpine: White Chocolate and Pistachio Tortini from A Table Full of Love

Cook, author, Sunday Times columnist and former Leiths student Skye McAlpine (@skyemcalpine) divides her time between London and Venice. She is the author of three cookbooks. The recipe below is from her latest A Table Full of Love, a beautiful selection of recipes “to comfort, seduce, celebrate and everything else in between”. A Table Full of Love by Skye McAlpine is published by Bloomsbury, £26.

These will keep in the freezer in their little ramekins for three months. Make sure to include a note with baking instructions, if you’re dropping them off as a gift. A wonderfully fudgy dessert somehow in the same family as sticky toffee pudding. The tortino or ‘little cake’ is made from white chocolate, which gives it that intensely dense texture, then baked at its centre is a dollop of melting sweet pistachio cream. This you can buy in jars – most Italian delicatessens or specialist online suppliers stock it – or make for yourself following my recipe. I love white chocolate and pistachio together, but you could equally substitute a dollop of chocolate-hazelnut spread for the pistachio cream. Once prepared, these need to rest in the freezer for a few hours, so you do need to think ahead; but on the flip side you can make them in advance and have them ready to pop in the oven when needed.


Serves 2

100g salted butter, plus more for the ramekins
100g white chocolate, finely chopped
60g caster sugar
2 eggs
2 level tbsp plain flour
2 heaped tsp Pistachio Butter, shop-bought pistachio cream, or chocolate- hazelnut spread, such as Nutella
Icing sugar, to dust (optional)
Finely chopped pistachios, to serve (optional)


  1. Butter two 10cm ramekins, making sure to liberally coat the bases.
  2. Combine the white chocolate, butter and sugar in a small saucepan and set over a low heat to melt. Stir regularly to stop the chocolate from catching and take the pan off the heat as soon as it is melted. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the eggs to the melted chocolate and stir vigorously until well combined. Now add the flour to the chocolate and stir vigorously until you have a smooth, chocolatey cream.
  3. Pour one-quarter of the mixture into each of the prepared ramekins. Spoon a dollop of Pistachio Butter, pistachio cream or chocolate spread into the middle of each, then pour over the remaining white chocolate mix, dividing it equally between each ramekin so the pistachio or chocolate is completely covered. Cover and set in the freezer for a couple of hours (longer if you like).
  4. When you are ready to serve, heat the oven to 200 ̊C/180 ̊C fan/Gas 6. Bake the tortini straight from the freezer, in the middle of the oven, for 25 minutes, until lightly golden on top and slightly risen in the middle. They should feel firm to the touch. Dust with icing sugar and/or a scattering of pistachios, if you like, before serving while still warm.