Saturday, July 23, 2016
Chestnut Chocolate Cake
This recipe for chestnut chocolate cake is from Food and Drink magazine. The frosting calls for mascarpone, so I looked up how to make it on Not Without Salt. However, the setup seemed impossible to achieve in my fridge (hanging cheese over a bowl – I really didn’t have that much clearance), plus I made it in the morning and planned to make the cake that afternoon, not the following day, so I only let it drain for a few hours, not overnight. I guess I’m too used to making ricotta (which, by the way, is ever-so-much creamier when made with a 1-3 ratio of cream to milk instead of just milk!). Since I thought my mascarpone was a bit runny, I didn’t use rum in the frosting, and I think that compensated a bit and helped me achieve the proper consistency. That being said, after a night in the fridge, the frosting had become hard, so maybe that’s where rum comes in handy. It’s very good cake, dense and not too chocolatey, and it just happens to be gluten-free, too. Enjoy!
Note that the original cake recipe claims that the size of the can of chestnut purée doesn’t really matter; the size listed here is the one most commonly found by the creators of the recipe, but a slightly greater or smaller amount would work fine, too. I actually weighed mine, but it’s not necessary.
For the mascarpone (see note above)
2 cups lactose-free cream
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Pour the cream in a saucepan and set it over medium-low heat. Stirring continually, so as not to let the bottom scorch, heat the cream to 190 °F.
Add the lemon juice – the mixture will immediately get a bit thicker. Heat at 190 °F for another 5 minutes, attiring often.
Remove from heat, cover the pan and refrigerate overnight, or until completely cool.
Once the cream has cooled, it will be nearly as thick as sour cream. Place a strainer lined with four layers of cheesecloth over a medium bowl. Add the thickened cream to the cheesecloth. Gather the corners and carefully tie the ends to form a bundle. Hang this in the fridge and let drain into the bowl for another 12-24 hours, or overnight. There should be a couple tablespoons of whey left in the bowl after it’s finished draining (I only had a few teaspoons, but as I stated I didn’t let it drain nearly as long).
Set aside for the frosting.
For the cake
4 oz. (125 g.) bittersweet chocolate
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
4 eggs, separated
1 can or jar (440 g.) chestnut purée (see note above)
For the frosting
6 oz. (175 g.) bittersweet chocolate
3 Tbsp. softened butter or margarine
1/3 cup lactose-free mascarpone (see recipe above)
2 Tbsp. rum (I omitted it)
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease a 9-inch sprinform pan; line the bottom with parchment paper and grease again.
Melt chocolate on top of double boiler or heavy pot on low heat. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
Reserve 2 Tbsp. sugar. With an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and remaining sugar for about 3 minutes or until tripled in volume. Beat in cooled chocolate and chestnut purée.
Beat egg whites until frothy, then beat in reserved 2 Tbsp. sugar, whisking until mixture is thick and glossy, about 6 to 7 minutes. Stir one quarter of egg whites into cake, then gently fold in remaining egg whites. Spoon into springform and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely in pan (my cake deflated, but that’s normal), then turn out onto a wire rack.
To make frosting, melt chocolate in heavy pot over low heat (I did this in a double boiler again). Beat in butter, mascarpone and rum. Remove from heat. Cool for 15 minutes, then frost the cake with it.
Refrigerate cake overnight before serving (I only refrigerated it a few hours before serving it, but leftovers were stored in the fridge as well).