A celebratory cake was needed for the 1st anniversary of CT's blog Radix. So, it's chocolate and chestnuts again! This time with the added bonus of chilli - our own dried and crushed "fatalli", a particularly vicious yellow variety. I used the already tried and tested Nigella recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess. As I had half a tin of chestnut puree left over from the biscuits, I made only half the quantity, which made quite a nice sized cake for two.
Here's what I did:
- Melted 100g 85% dark chocolate and left to cool slightly.
- Creamed 75g unsalted butter with 25g dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mixed in 200g (or thereabouts) of sweetened chestnut puree.
- Added 3 egg yolks, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp brandy and the chocolate and stirred until combined.
- Whisked 3 eggs whites until stiff, then added 25g caster sugar and whisked again.
- Folded egg whites into the cake mix 1/3 at a time.
- Poured into a 2lb silicone loaf thingy and baked at 180C for 30 mins.
- Left to cool for 20 mins, then turned out and dusted with cocoa powder.
Usually I serve this warm as a dessert when we've got friends over, but I have to say it works pretty well as a cake too. It rose spectacularly, but like most soufflé type concoctions, it sank almost immediately I took it out of the oven - it still tasted delicious though. The texture is distinctly truffle like, rich and dense yet paradoxically light. The taste is more delicate than one would associate with chestnuts, but none the worse for that. As we only used a very small quantity of the fatalli, a pleasant glow resulted rather than the usual meltdown we normally experience when using this chilli.