(Try using some chestnut flour mixed with almond flour - delicious!)
60 g almond flour + 40 g chestnut flour in this case
4 (size M or L)
Sugar (I used raw cane sugar - use whatever sugar you prefer)
Chestnuts in syrup or chestnuts in syrup in their skins
8 to 10
Powdered sugar to finish
about 1/2 tablespoon
Line a cake tin with kitchen parchment paper. Dust with almond flour. The almond flour can clog up the sieve, so push it through with your fingers.
This cake is delicious too if you replace some of the almond flour with chestnut flour!
Divide the eggs into yolks and whites. Beat the egg whites and make meringue. Add the sugar in 3 to 4 batches, and make a meringue with stiff peaks.
Lower the speed of your handheld mixer at the end to create small air bubbles in the meringue and smooth out the texture.
While you're beating the meringue, make the browned butter too. Put the butter in a pan and heat until it turns dark brown. Strain it through a tea strainer.
Start preheating the oven to 180 °C. Combine the egg yolks with the chestnut cream and mix well. If you are using rum, add it at Step 6 or 7.
Keep mixing while adding the browned butter little by little. If you stop mixing, the yolks may curdle from the heat of the butter, so keep mixing continuously.
Add the almond flour. Beat well with a whisk until the batter is smooth.
Add 1/3 of the meringue to the batter, and scoop up from the bottom of the bowl as you fold it in. Add half of the remaining meringue and fold it in too.
Add the remaining meringue, and fold it in as you scoop up from the bottom, trying not to beat out the air bubbles, to make a light and fluffy batter.
Pour the batter into the cake tin. Shake the tin gently from side to side, then tap it on your countertop to remove any large air bubbles. Set the chestnuts in syrup (without the syrup) on top. (They sank to the bottom when I baked the cake...)
You can also chop up the chestnuts before adding them to the cake. But if you want to enjoy the smooth texture of the cake, I think it's better to just add the whole chestnuts.
Bake at 180°C for 30 minutes, then at 150 to 160°C for 20 minutes, for a total of 50 minutes.
The baking time will vary depending on your oven and the mold you're using, so please be sure to check how the cake is doing. If it looks like the surface is going to burn, cover it with a piece of aluminium foil.
If a skewer poked into the cake comes out clean it's done. As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, drop it onto your countertop from about a 30 cm height to push out the steam.
When the cake has cooled down slightly, take it out of the tin and peel off the paper. Leave to cool on a cooling rack. Cover the cake with a tightly wrung out moistened kitchen towel as it cools to prevent it from drying out.
When the cake has cooled down, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for several hours in the refrigerator. The cake will settle and become more delicious.
It's done when it's well rested! The middle will sink a bit when it's completely chilled. Dust the top with powdered sugar and enjoy.
I served it with whipped cream. Soooo delish. It's kind of like being at a café isn't it?
It's a bit like baked creamed sweet potato, or kabocha squash or sweet potato custard. But it's still like a cake too.
When you put a fork in it, it's like this. Sooo moist.
I think it may be good baked in a pastry crust too! It's very moist so it should work. I think I'll try it next time.
I used storebought chestnut cream. I used Sabaton's creme de marron this time. But I actually think the one from Clement Faugier has a better flavor.
I made 11 cm diameter cakes to give as gifts. You can make 4 cakes of this size. I took this picture before dusting them with powdered sugar.
After giving them a makeover.
Story Behind this Recipe
It's chestnut season as I write this, so I wanted to make all sorts of sweets. I had some chestnut cream on hand so, I flavored it with browned butter and made a moist chesnut cake.
It may seem like there are lots of steps, but it's really easy! Once you've made the meringue and the browned butter, you just need to mix - all very easy to do! It's also important to chill the cake well so that it can rest and settle. It's more delicious than when it's freshly baked, and has a better texture too.