Chestnut Cake with Chocolate Ganache, Naturally Gluten-Free

I love chestnut-flavored desserts (a Korean bakery in Honolulu makes the best chestnut balls/cookies that I used to love back when I ate gluten) and was totally thrilled when I accidentally stumbled on a bag of cooked chestnuts at a specialty food store.  Finding chestnuts is really the hardest part of this recipe; it’s a shame they aren’t more popular in the U.S.

But if you’re not able to find chestnuts, feel free to substitute another nut flour; the book that served as the inspiration for this recipe has several variations using almond, walnut, and even coconut flour.  I also want to note that although I made this into a rather decadent layered cake, the cake would be equally amazing plain with just a dollop of whipped cream.

In fact, if you went through the trouble of tracking down chestnuts, it’s nice to allow the chestnut flavor to take center stage, rather than playing second fiddle to the chocolate.  If you go that route, it would make an amazing breakfast cake.  Or feel free to just do the top layer of ganache and skip the whipped filling.  I’m pretty sure you’ll love it anyway you make it.

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Chestnut Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

* 6 extra large eggs, separated
* 2/3 cups sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1 2/3 cup ground chestnuts
* butter, for greasing pan
* rice flour, for dusting pan

Ganache Topping:
* 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
* 1/2 cup heavy cream

Ganache Filling (Optional):
* 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
* 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Prepare the whipped ganache filling, if using, by putting 2/3 cups chocolate chips into a large bow. Put 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a microwave-safe glass or mug and microwave until it just begins to simmer; watch carefully to make sure the cream doesn't boil over. Pour over the chocolate chips and let stand for a couple minutes and then stir until the mixture is smooth. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature, about 2 hours (you can speed this up by putting it in the fridge after it has cooled slightly). Using an electric mixer, whisk on high for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch" springform or cake pan and generously dust with rice flour. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until creamy. Add the chestnut flour and mix well.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice until firm and creamy. Add about 1/4 of the egg white mixture to the hazelnut mixture and thoroughly combine to lighten. Carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake begins to shrink from the rim of the pan, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool.

If making a layer cake, cut the cake horizontally into two layers. Spread with the bottom layer with whipped ganache filling and the place the other cake layer on top.

Prepare the ganache by putting 2/3 cup chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Put 1/2 cup heavy cream in a microwavable-safe glass or mug and microwave until it just begins to simmer; watch carefully to make sure the cream doesn't boil over. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let stand for a couple minutes. Stir until smooth, let cool slightly. Spread the ganache over the top and sides of the cake and let the cake cool, allowing the glaze to harden.

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One Response to “Chestnut Cake with Chocolate Ganache, Naturally Gluten-Free”

  1. #
    1
    Jun — May 16, 2011 at 4:23 am

    This is looking especially mouth-watering! Chestnut and chocolate is a match made in heaven!

    Reply

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