Crunchy Chocolate–Chestnut Cake
- prep time 60 min
- total time 90 min
- serves 12
½ cup Ground almonds
½ cup All-purpose flour
¼ cup Icing Sugar
2 Egg whites
½ Granulated sugarChocolate-Chestnut Icing
4 ounces Semisweet chocolate, chopped
¼ cup Unsalted butter
¼ cup 35% Cream
3 cans 250-g cans chestnut crème (see note), about 560 ml (2 1/4 cups) in allChocolate-Almond Discs
8 ounces Semisweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup Almond butter
2 cups Corn flakes
250 grams (8-oz) block of milk chocolate for making shavings
24 Chocolate-filled rolled wafer cookies
1 Decorative ribbonAssembly Note
1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 170 °C (325 °F). Line the bottom of 2 20-cm (8-in) springform cake pans with parchment paper. Butter the sides of the pans.
2. In a bowl, combine the almonds, flour and icing sugar. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Beat in the sugar a tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients.
4. Spread the batter evenly in the pans. Bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool, then remove from the pans. Set aside.Chocolate-Chestnut Icing
1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter with the cream, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in 430 ml (1 3/4 cups) of chestnut crème (set the rest of the chestnut crème aside for the cake assembly). Allow the icing to cool. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 1 hour.Chocolate-Almond Discs
1. Reline the bottoms of the 2 springform pans with parchment paper. Butter the sides.
2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and almond butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the corn flakes, making sure they are well coated with the chocolate mixture. Spread the mixture in the pans. Cover with plastic film and press down firmly. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 30 minutes. Unmould.Assembly
1. Spread half of the chocolate–chestnut icing on the two chocolate–almond discs. Place a cake layer on top of each iced disc. Spread the remaining chestnut crème on one of the cake layers, then set the other assembled cake on it so that the chestnut crème is in the centre of the cake. Ice the top and sides of the cake with the remaining chocolate–chestnut icing.
2. Using a knife or vegetable peeler, cut 750 ml (3 cups) of large shavings from the chocolate block. Arrange them on top of the cake.
3. Just before serving, cut the wafer cookies in 2 or 3 so they are the same height as the cake. Holding a cookie vertically, press it gently into the icing on the side of the cake. Repeat with the remaining wafers, going around the entire cake. Tie the ribbon around the cake.Note
1. Be careful not to confuse chestnut purée and chestnut crème. Chestnut purée is simply chestnuts that have been cooked and puréed. Chestnut crème is chestnut purée that has been sweetened and flavoured with vanilla—perfect for this recipe.
2. The cake is easier to slice with a warm serrated knife.
3. Wafer cookies quickly absorb moisture and soften. That’s why you should put them on the cake only at the last minute.