This is a good chocolate cake! I have been meaning to make it since Rachel made it and that was a whole year ago. It had been on my to make list before that as I had looked at it longingly in Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s The River Cottage Year, which believe it or not I have had in my possession for seven years. How time flies, and what a long to make list I must have.
It’s a great cake for this time of year, when chestnuts feature heavily on market shelves and in Christmas cooking. But to be honest it’s a great cake for any time of the year.
It’s easy to make too and can be enjoyed warm for dessert or cold with a cup of tea (or coffee, or a mulled wine).
250g good quality dark chocolate
250g peeled and cooked chestnuts (I use vacuum packed as life is too short)
4 eggs, separated
125g caster sugar
Grease and line a 25cm round cake tin.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a pan over a gentle heat. In another pan heat the chestnuts and milk together until it just comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and mash the chestnuts into the milk until smooth.
Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together until combined. Pour in the chocolate mixture and the chestnut mixture and whisk together well. I used a balloon whisk to do this.
In a very clean bowl whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and then carefully fold into the chocolate and chestnut mixture. Pour the mixture into the tin and place in a preheated oven at 170°c, gas mark 3, or the baking oven of the Aga for 25-30 minutes, until it is set, but it will still have a little wobble in the centre.
Leave in the tin to cool a little if you are serving warm or leave to cool completely. Sift cocoa powder over the top.