Monday, June 02, 2008

Chestnut and chocolate cake

Our poor man's Volvo needed to have its tyres changed on saturday, so the Boyfriend and I ventured off to a nearby shopping centre with garage attached, the idea being that I could to the grocery shopping while the Boyfriend would got to the garage and oversee the changing of the tyres. We are ever so progressive as a couple. I had a lot of time and kind of aimlessly wandered around a posh food hall. Guess what I found? Chestnut flour. And I bought a bag, for no particular reason, simply because they had it basically. I try to refrain from this kind of shopping as I inevitably end up with all my cupboards full of half-empty bags of interesting or unusual foods, more than we actually need. And then there is often the problem of having an awkward quantity left - too much for one person, too little for two - how does everyone deal with that? Anyway, on saturday, despite all that, I bought the chestnut flour. I did a little research today and found out that chestnut flour doesn't keep very well. "This cake must be made with fresh chestnut flour or it will not turn out well" many recipes read, almost making me feel like I had been mighty foolish, buying a whole large bag of the stuff. What could I do but make good use of my special flour right away? Call it emergency baking.

Chestnut and chocolate cake
(makes one round 23cm-diameter cake)
  • 3 yoghurt pots chestnut flour, sifted
  • 1 pot natural yoghurt
  • 1 yoghurt pot brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and baking powder each
  • 120g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°. Line a round baking pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pan. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, vanilla sugar, eggs and butter until light and thick. Add the yoghurt and stir well. Add the sifted flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and stir carefully. When the flour is completely incorporated, stir in the chocoalate. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 40 minutes. A skewer inserted into the cake must come out clean. Cover the cake with foil if it browns too quickly (as mine did). Turn onto a wire rack and cool completely before eating.

I was extremely eager to find out what the chestnut flour would taste like and could hardly contain myself while the cake was cooling on the balcony. I'm glad to report that it lived up to my expectations: light and fluffy, with only a subtle chestnut taste (which is fine by me) and bursts of sweet chocolate. Some chopped and roasted hazelnuts might be a nice addition, too. One warning: chestnut flour is gluten free which means that this cake is crumbly with a very soft texture. If not being able to neatly slice a cake makes you cry, substitute half of the chestnut flour with plain flour. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go and steal just one last tiny sliver before I go to sleep.


jillian said...

love your blog ... one question, how much flour (or yogurt) goes into one yogurt pot? thanks :)

Honeybee said...

Thanky you!! The pots I buy contain180g but it doesn't really matter, just make sure you use the same pot throughout. Spoon the yoghurt into a small bowl, wash the yoghurt pot, dry and use to measure out the other ingredients. You could also use one (yoghurt) pot of canola oil instead of the butter but I use butter because I prefer its taste to oil in cakes.

Dee said...

I like the part about the baking emergency :) i have too many of those, and for similar reasons, too!
i stumbled upon your blog on blogged, btw.