Food

Chocolate & Chestnut Cake

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a thing for chestnuts. Sadly it’s not the most popular thing to eat in Australia (at least not so much here in the West) but having grown up in Japan where there is a national reverence for all things chestnut related (see my Mont Blanc blog), I love them!

I had a go recently at making my own Marron Glace as per the recipe tried and tested by Not Quite Nigella. Unfortunately I was soon to discover that such things should be left to artisans. Whole, perfectly peeled and successfully glace’ed chestnuts were the exception rather than the rule in my kitchen. I was left with a lot of crumbly (albeit very delicious) bits of chestnut which ended up being sampled well before the glace process actually ended. Ah well…

Giving up on fresh chestnuts for the time being, I picked up a can of chestnut puree from a curious little Italian grocer in East Fremantle (Lopresti & Son). I am so glad I went in there as they stock some amazing produce at very recession friendly prices. The lovely Italian lady (who turned out to be Mrs Lopresti) at the counter asked what I planned to do with the puree and I confidently announced that I was going to whip up a chocolate and chestnut cake. “Ahh. Nice!” she nodded with approval. I wasn’t sure if that was the plan but I smiled back like a Masterchef contestant; all full of blind optimism.

Later, on surfing the net, I discovered that chocolate and chestnut is a fairly popular combination of flavours in Italy, which certainly explained Mama Lopresti’s enthusiasm. I sourced a simple recipe from the ABC and gave it a whirl.

The cake (which I only later realised is gluten free) was velvety smooth thanks to the chestnut puree. In terms of flavour, there was no noticeable chestnut taste but I think the puree’s role is mainly to help produce a gorgeous, light cake that packs a chocolate punch without making a huge calorific dent in your diet. It’s a winner all round!

Chocolate and Chestnut Cake

100 grams chocolate
25 grams butter
125 grams chestnut puree
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons sugar
2 egg whites

To make: Combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then mix in the egg yolks.  Melt the chocolate (in microwave on low for a few minutes, stirring between minutes) and fold in the chestnut puree. Add chocolate mix to the butter mix and stir well. Beat egg whites until nice and peaky then fold mixture through the chocolate mix. The cake mixture should be nice and light. Pour mix into a greased small round cake tin (or small loaf tin) and bake on 175C for 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely and serve with ice cream or cream.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Tenina

    May 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I have just done a chocolate Chestnut Cheesecake this very day! It is stunning…the texture to die for! This looks fabulous…cannot pass up on chocolate things….this has joined my to do list!

  2. Moni

    May 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Wow Tenina! Choc Chestnut Cheesecake? That would be taking it to another level completely! I hope you’re posting the recipe :D

  3. Johanna Sargeant

    November 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Thanks so much for this! I know I’m two and a half years late… :) I’m from Perth but living in Switzerland, and there is Chestnut puree everywhere at the moment. I bought an organic slab a few days ago, not having any idea what to do with it, and am giving this a shot. Even better, I have a friend coming for dinner this weekend who can’t have gluten, and I might just make this for dessert! Thanks for the ideas :)

    • Monica

      December 1, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Oh wow! It must be rather cold there at the moment :) I think chestnut is used vastly in Europe so I hope you find many other recipes for chestnut puree while there. My favourite is french chestnut paste or candied whole chestnuts… Thanks for commenting as it’s nice to get a recap on previous posts and now I want to find some chestnut puree again to make the cake :)

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