Saturday, 8 January 2011

Chocolate Chestnut Cake with Cranberry filling

This is a belated Christmas post. I decided to make a variation on the chocolate chestnut cake I made last year but made the same cranberry filling. I also made a plain chocolate version as I ran out of chestnuts! I could not believe how difficult it was to find chestnut puree this year. So I decided to make my own... bit of a nightmare peeling all those chestnuts but I got there in the end! The recipe I used is actually for a truffle cake so it was really soft and gooey. It's not very pleasing to the eye but let me reassure you that it was delicious! Very rich and decadent. Probably not the best idea to make it into a giant cupcake though. Next time I'd make the plain chocolate cupcake in a giant mould and the chestnut cakes as regular sized cupcakes.

 cooked and peeled chestnuts 

 making chestnut puree 

 filling my giant cupcake mould 

 cranberry filling in the middle

 cream cheese frosting with dried cranberries 

 giant cupcake which I didn't have time to frost properly! 

 cake was really soft and crumbly 

 chocolate cupcakes 

 fill with cranberry sauce 

 top with dried cranberry frosting 

Chestnut and chocolate truffle cake recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
250g dark chocolate, in chunks
250g unsalted butter, cubed
250g peeled, cooked chestnuts
250ml whole milk
4 eggs, separated
125g caster sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter together in a pan over a very gentle heat.  
  • In another pan, heat the chestnuts with milk until just boiling, then mash thoroughly with a potato masher (or process to a rough puree in a machine).
  • Put the egg yolks in a bowl and mix with the caster sugar.
  • Stir in the chocolate mixture and the chestnut puree until you have a smooth, blended batter.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold them carefully into the batter.
  • Transfer the mixture into a cake tin/cupcake mould/cupcake cases (don't worry if the batter is very liquid).
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake is just set but still has a slight wobble. 

Cranberry Filling
1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and halved
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

  • Add the ingredients to a saucepan and cook down until thickened, stirring occasionally, approximately 20-30 minutes.
  • Cool and store covered in the refrigerator. 

Cream cheese frosting with dried cranberries
250g cream cheese
100g butter
600g icing sugar, sifted
200-300g dried cranberries (to taste)

  • Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy.
  • Gradually beat in the icing sugar.
  • Finally add the dried cranberries. 
Chocolate Cupcakes - recipe from the Primrose Bakery
115g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) 
85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, free range or organic, separated
185g plain flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
250ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Break the chocolate into pieces and melt (In a microwave or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water).
  • Stir occasionally until it has completely melted and is quite smooth. Leave to cool slightly. 
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer. 
  • In a separate bowl  and with clean beaters, beat the egg yolks for several minutes. 
  • Slowly add the egg yolks to the creamed mixture and beat well. 
  • Next, add the melted chocolate to the mixture and beat well. 
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl. 
  • Put the milk in a jug and add the vanilla extract to it.
  • Add one-third of the flour to the chocolate mixture and beat well. 
  • Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again.
  • Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added. 
  • In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. 
  • Carefully add the egg whites into the batter, using a metal spoon. 
  • Do not beat or you will take all the air out of the mixture. 
  • Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two-thirds full.
  • This is a fairly liquid batter, so take care when spooning out.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. 
  • Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for about 10 minutes before carefully placing on a wire rack to cool.


  1. Wow! Full marks to you for making your own chestnut puree. Lovely sounding cakes, can't wait for Christmas to roll around again so I can give them a try ;0)

  2. I love seeing belated Christmas posts or recipes. Because it's like a little edible reminder of the joys of Chrismtas :)
    These look so festive. So much effort!

  3. I bet that tasted divine and I am SO impressed with you peeling your own chestnuts - a real labour of love that.

  4. What a stunning cake - I keep meaning to bake with chestnut as I love the subtle flavour. You have inspired me!

  5. That giant cupcake mould is too cute. I cant believe you made your own chestnut puree, that's total dedication, I am impressed!
    *kisses* HH

  6. I love chestnut in chocolate cakes, so I bet this was spectacular! And I had no idea that you could buy a giant cupcake mold--very interesting!

  7. That's a really huge cupcake that I can indulge in a second. I love that you put red and green toppings that is really Christmas-y. Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipe! I really love to try this. Maybe later I'll make some of this for my family and friends. Thanks again for sharing.


I've had to turn word verification back on as I've had a lot of problem with spam lately, Apologies! Please, please do leave a comment - I appreciate every one of them and will reply to all of them. Thanks!