You would be entitled to wonder why I have reeled out this picture of a cake decorated with Easter eggs only a few weeks before Christmas.
The answer is simple. This is most definitely a Christmassy recipe and I had it bookmarked to try for the festive season a couple of years ago. But, as so often happens, I was overtaken by events and the idea to make the cake was put on the back burner and ultimately forgotten. Then, I remembered it when I was hunting for a recipe for a chocolate dessert cake the following Easter. Chocolate and Easter are best friends and as I already had the tin of chestnut cream – so why not!
The recipe comes from one of my favourite blogs called “Life’s a Feast” and you can see the original here. It made one of those intensely rich, squidgy chocolate dessert cakes, extra delicious due to the inclusion of chestnut purée, a very traditional ingredient in France at this time of year.
It tasted glorious. Imagine it covered in a snowy blanket of icing sugar and decorated with a sprig of holly instead of Easter eggs and it would be perfect for a Christmas or New Year dinner! As suggested in the original recipe, it might also be even more delicious if a little orange liqueur or even rum was added.
(And yes, those are Daisy’s little paws getting dangerously close to it in the picture! She suddenly appeared on the table from nowhere and her paws landed just as I snapped. In case you’re wondering about that as well….no, she didn’t!)
200g dark chocolate, I used Green and Black’s 70%
160g unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 500g tin of chestnut spread or crème de marrons
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160° fan. Butter and line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.
Melt the butter and sugar together, either in a microwave or a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool.
Put the eggs in a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk. Add the chestnut cream and whisk in.
Next whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture until well blended, then the flour.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 30 minutes. The surface will be cracked and the cake puffed up and just set.
Cool in the tin and serve dusted liberally with icing sugar. Decorate with seasonal decorations! You can serve with cream or ice cream, red berries, or just as it is.