Hello there dear people of the internet – who wants cake?
The other night my dad reminded me we had some chestnuts in the fridge and I was wondering what I could do with them. It´s in my nature to think of cake first. I am basically always thinking about cake – or cheese. So, aside from roasted chestnuts and chestnut risotto, chestnut cake is probably the wisest thing to make when you have chestnuts spare in your fridge. So anyway I came up with this recipe for a Chestnut Sponge Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting in the middle and chocolate icing on top, both layers sprinkled with almond brittle. It´s also gluten free, by the way, because I am cealiac. I have made tried my hand at many baking experiments and not all of them went that well, but this one, oh boy, this one really worked! It´s moist, chestnutty, sweet, but not too sweet, creamy, chocolatey, nom nommy. So, without further ado, I shall give you my recipe for this magical cake:
DISCLAIMER: THIS CAKE WAS IMPROVISED. I´ve tried to recall all the ingridients and steps, but please, trust your own judgement on this one too and use this as a guideline.
What you´ll need:
For the cake:
- 2 twin tins, 16 cm lined with baking paper and greaced with margerine or butter
- 3 eggs, seperated
- about 100 g white sugar, maybe 80 g – it was not that much because the toppings contain enough sweetness – you decide how sweet you want it
- 250 g Chestnuts, vacuum-packed or frozen
- Approx. 1 dl of milk
- A pinch of cinnamon
- A pinch of salt
- A bit of vanilla essence
- A sip of maple syrup (I had some left over)
- approx. 50 g ground almonds
- 100 g gf flour
- baking powder
For the almond brittle:
- 30 g whole almonds
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1-2 tbsp
- A tad of lemon juice
For the buttercream:
- 80 g sugar
- 50 g soft butter
- a bit of vanilla extract
For the chocolate icing:
… Chocolate icing…you can buy it in a packet…
- Grease the tins and line the bottom
- Preheat the oven to about 180-190° C (Fan)
- For the brittle, lay out a a tray with baking paper, mix sugar and water in a pan add lemon juice (Though I didn´t actually do that, I had no lemons), bring to boil on high, wait for the mixture to go yellow/brown, then turn down to low immediately. Add the almonds and stir. Quickly tip everything onto into the tray and leave to cool.
- For the cake: Boil the chestnuts in milk on low, add cinnamon. Cook until soft, puree the whole thing.
- Seperate egg whites into a small bowl, egg yolks into a bigger one. Mix the chestnut puree in with the egg yolks, add sugar, ground almonds, flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, maple syrup, salt and basically everything exept the egg whites and mix well.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff-ish and stir into the everything-mix, until completely absorbed
- Fill half each into the tins, bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes, but check yourself when they´re done…I wasn´t really looking at a clock. Use the stick to see when they´re through. They should go slightly golden on top
- Leave them to cool
- Meanwhile make the frosting: Mix the butter and icing sugar together until creamy, add the vanilla essence – Done.
- Chop up the caramellised almonds finely to make the brittle
- Melt the chocolate icing according to instructions, probably in a glass bowl over a water bath
- Take one cake, cooled and peeled of its baking paper, and pour the chocolate on it, spread it on the surface. Sprinkle two thirds of the brittle on top, leave to set
- Take the second cake and sprad the buttercream icing on it, sprinkle the rest of the brittle on top. When the chocolate has cooled, put the first cake (with the chocolate) on top of the other one. And tadaaaaa – You have a delicious cake sandwich 😀