It takes a lot of courage to bake a homemade cake all or almost all (I cheated on chocolate shavings) by yourself, because all those bought ones look so perfect and nice, you just don’t stand a chance, right? Wrong. I guess I am one of those amateur cooks who are intrigued by such challenges and stubborn enough to get it done. It took me a while, but the result was delicious harmony of rich chocolate cake and addictive chestnut cream.
I have to thank lovely Rachel Khoo for the recipe. With her perfect chestnut cream this chocolate cake is something special.
125 g butter and some more for greasing
200 g baking chocolate
2 tbsp water
125 g icing sugar
90 g all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
60 g ground almonds
For Rachel Khoo's chestnut cream:
200 g cooked chestnuts
1/2 cup double cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 and 1/2 tbsp cognac (or brandy)
200 g chocolate
65 g double cream
cooked whole chestnuts
- Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease 26 cm dismontable round pastry mould with butter and line the bottom with baking paper.
- Place a bowl like this over a saucepan of simmering water. The bowl must not touch the water. Break chocolate in pieces and put in a bowl. Add butter and water. Stir until melted and incorporated, than leave to cool.
- Separate egg yolks and egg whites. Add icing sugar to egg yolks and beat with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Than add chocolate butter mixture, flour, baking powder and ground almonds.
- Whisk egg whites until soft peaks. Fold 1/4 of egg whites into chocolate mixture, than gently fold in the rest. Transfer into a tin and cook for 35 to 40 minutes. Let it cool for few minutes before you take it out of the pastry mould, than place it on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
For chestnut cream:
- Put chestnuts, double cream, sugar, cognac, scraped vanilla seeds and vanilla pods into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove vanilla pods and mix with a hand blender until smooth.
- Cut cake in half with a Genoise cutter like this. Put one half on a cake stand and cover with chestnut cream. Put the other half on the top.
- Chop chocolate into pieces. Bring double cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts. Pour over the cake and cover the whole cake. On the top of the cake make a spiral with a tablespoon from the center out.
- Cover the sides of the cake with chocolate shavings and decorate with whole cooked chestnuts.
- For a shiny look of your decorative chestnuts you can cook them for few minutes in a mixture of 10 g butter, 5 g sugar and 1/2 tbsp honey.
- You can use smaller pastry mould, but you have to adjust baking time.