Chocolate chestnut cake

chocolate chestnut cake


I must share this cake with you. I have been making it a lot in recent weeks. Mostly because it keeps getting eaten before I have had chance to take a photo of it. Each time I fetch it out of the oven I say ‘now, I must get a photo of this cake this time’, then it’s gone. But I have also been making it because (and this is a really good excuse) chestnut flour doesn’t keep well, so you must use it quickly.

I buy my bread flour by the 25kg sack full from Shipton Mill. To get free delivery I always add to the order and this time I included chestnut flour. It’s not cheap but I have wanted to try it for ages. I am glad I did. It is seasonal so you may have to wait to make this cake.

This cake is fudgy and dense, like a brownie in texture. I have tried all caster sugar, all light brown sugar and half and half caster with muscovado. My favourite is to use all light brown sugar. It gives a caramel edge without being too heavy or bitter. The cake is even better the day after it is made as it just gets fudgier. Be careful not to overcook it though. You want a slight wobble left in the centre when you take it out of the oven. This will firm up when the cake is cooled and your cake will be lovely and moist.

If you have chestnuts rather than chestnut flour then I can recommend my other Chocolate Chestnut Cake as being equally delicious.

200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids and stuff that you enjoy eating)
200g unsalted butter
200g soft light brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
100g chestnut flour


Preheat the oven to 170°c, gas mark 3 or use towards the bottom of the baking oven of the Aga. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.

Break the chocolate into small pieces into a bowl. Cube the butter and add to the chocolate. Melt the butter and chocolate in the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (making sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl). When melted stir gently to combine.

Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together until well combined and slightly paler in colour.

Whisk the egg whites in a separate, scrupulously clean bowl to firm peaks.

Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture to the egg yolks and sugar mixture and combine well. Fold in the chestnut flour. Add one third of the egg whites, mixing in well so that the mixture is light and the remainder of the eggs can be very gently folded in, retaining as many of the tiny bubbles as possible. When all combined, gently pour the mixture into the lined tin and place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. It may take a few minutes longer depending on your oven but check at 20 minutes as you don’t want to overcook it.

Leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes and then turn out onto a plate. You can dive in straight away or restrain yourself and keep until the next day.


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20 thoughts on “Chocolate chestnut cake”

    1. It has been a while. I have been naughty and not keeping up with myself. Mine is my only oven so it stays on, but I don’t mind that as I love it so much. Looking forward to hearing about the salads then. x

    1. Hello dear Margaret, I have been hibernating (with regard to the blog at least)so perhaps it is apt. Will attempt to spring back into action. Sorry, couldn’t resist the lame pun. It is a very good cake.

  1. Ooh er, that’s a cake for me Kath. I’ve so wanted to try baking with chestnut flour, but keep getting put off by the price. Now I’ve seen this, I’m even more tempted – perhaps for a special occasion …

  2. Hi Kath, I’ve been meaning to visit here for a while–never had chestnut flour, and I can imagine what a delectable layer of flavor it would add to this marvelous chocolate cake. I’ll have to find a source here in the States!

  3. Congratulations and thanks: unusually and maybe uniquely: this recipe is well written and was perfect even with using less dark choc (57%) and light muscovado. Only thing I had a panic about was the tin size and relied on the photo that mix would fit a 23cm quiche tin,,,which it did just!, It would be useful if all recipes, not just yours, gave a volume measure of cake tins.

  4. Just tried it this afternoon, great flavours but… 25 minutes was nowhere near enough with my oven.. so I’d resort to the good old fashioned “knife plunging” (and coming out not completely clean) than relying on the wobble. That said, once back in the oven for a further 10′, it’s a lovely cake, really gooey and tasty! Thanks for the recipe

  5. Thank you for sharing! I really want to bake this for a friend’s birthday. Do you think it will be ok to make a sandwich using chocolate ganache between the layers? I plan to bake two tins.

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