Firstly I must begin by apologizing for the hiatus. That’s right folks, I’ve started university! Although the dorm is fitted with a fabulous kitchen, two ovens and two American mega-fridges, I’ve found it quite difficult to bake there. Nevertheless, upon returning home for the Christmas holidays, I can finally return to baking.
The six week break has allowed me to read and research countless cake recipes. I have already made two coffee & walnut cakes adapting the most divine recipe form The Guardian. In addition, I like to decorate the same cake differently each time to keep the process from becoming tedious. I promise to post the recipe at some point.
Now, this chocolate cake is in a league of its own. My mother requested that I bake a cake to take her friend’s house for afternoon tea. From my other posts you’ll probably know that my mother absolutely detests the cloying sweetness most often found in American recipes. I knew that her friends’ tastes would be similar. Thus, I rifled through numerous cake recipes before coming across this one.
Chestnuts are an absolute must in our house and once I proposed a flourless, minimal sugar, chestnut cake using dark chocolate, the hunt was over. This is the moistest cake of any sort I have ever made / eaten. And I cannot emphasize this enough. The cake was baked for a good 45 minutes yet you cannot ignore the moisture even in photographs.
Chestnut may seem a very bizarre ingredient for an otherwise classic chocolate cake recipe. Trust me, you will not regret this! The taste is similar to that of a coarse chocolate hazelnut mixture. The dark chocolate also retains a sensuous underlying taste throughout each bite. Enjoy warm with double cream or completely unadulterated with a large spoon. This cake is rich, yet light in texture, almost mousse-like. It is quintessentially an absolute dream.
- 250g (9 oz) dark chocolate
- 250g (9 oz) unsalted butter
- 250g (9 oz) peeled cooked chestnuts (tinned if you prefer)
- 250ml (9 fl oz) milk
- 4 eggs (separated)
- 125g (5 oz) caster sugar
- Set the oven to 170°C (325°F) & butter a 23cm / 9” tin
- Melt the dark chocolate and unsalted butter together in a medium sized bowl. Leave to cool
- In a pan, heat the chestnuts with milk until just boiling, then mash thoroughly with a potato masher (or process to a rough purée in a machine)
- Put the yolks in a large bowl and mix with caster sugar
- Stir in the chocolate mixture and the chestnut purée until smooth
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff & fold them carefully into the batter
- Pour the mixture into the greased cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes (until just set but still has a slight wobble)