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TWD: Chestnut cake

November 24, 2009

I still have those moments when I feel like Fanny Brice in Funny Girl when she’s offered “a bit of pate”:

“I drink it all day.”

For some reason chestnuts still leave me feeling the part of food novice.

After all, I only first discovered chestnuts recently and am still in my initial experimentation and recipe creation stages for the chestnut.

So with that in mind  you would think I would be a stickler to this recipe, right? Wrong.

The problem was with the chestnut spread.  I couldn’t find the stuff anywhere!  I tried the local regular grocery store, local fancy grocery store, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes, even asking for assistance at each one.  This girl can only handle a certain amount of rejection, so when the Whole Foods helper offered me a can of Chestnut Puree instead, I went with it.  After all, I should be able to at least do something with a can of chestnut puree.

Luckily, I found a recipe online for another chestnut cake where chestnut puree (plus a little vanilla and sugar) can be subbed in for the spread.  If it’s good enough for Jacques Pepin, it is certainly good enough for me!

Although, to be on the safe side, I quartered the recipe, getting only a total of 4 cupcakes.  And then I grabbed the AP flour instead of the cake flour.  “Oh well,” I thought, “I’m already using unsweetened puree instead of spread, what could be the harm in using AP flour as well?”  So I grabbed a hefty pinch of flour back out of my bowl and continued on.  Then I just poured the vanilla in for a little while, and scooped in what looked like the appropriate amount of puree, abandoning all hope of precision with this recipe.

I had originally intended to use the brandy syrup, but cancelled that when I realized these were meant to be work/road trip food.  As a general rule, I stay away from all things even borderline alcohol in either place.  It’s a pretty solid rule.  And since I went the cupcake route, splitting open for ganache was honestly never meant to be.

I did dip them in the chocolate glaze.  That part seemed simple enough.

The result was fantastic–this is a pretty robust little cake.  I didn’t even think it needed the chocolate on top.  The original recipe can be found on Kayta’s blog: Second Dinner.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2009 2:33 pm

    Chestnut spread is basically chestnut puree with vanilla and a lot of sugar, so I’m sure the substitution was perfect. Maybe the chocolate wasn’t necessary for the taste, but it sure adds a nice visual touch! Great job!

  2. November 28, 2009 12:47 am


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