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Chocolate Chestnut Cake

The season is almost over but finally I managed to bag some fresh chestnuts this weekend at Avondale market. I know most people tend to forage for chestnuts but out at Muriwai we don’t have many Chestnut trees, perhaps they don’t like the sea air?

I have many strong memories of street vendors in the UK and Germany roasting chestnuts and the nutty smell wafting along the high street while out shopping. Holding a bag of hot chestnuts  was a welcome relief from the cold winter day if you had forgotten your gloves.  Not something I have to worry about now in New Zealand, I no longer own a pair of gloves except for snow boarding gloves taht I might use once a year. Funny how things change, gloves in the Europe are one of those essential winter accessories that you matched to your outfit like a pair of shoes!

I have a lot more chestnuts left after making this cake and have seen a great soup recipe over at Nourish Magazine which I hope to make this weekend.


  • 225g 70% bitter chocolate
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 5 free-range eggs, separated
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g plain flour or ground almonds
  • 150g fresh peeled and roasted chestnuts
  • 100ml dark rum
  • 50g 70% cacao chocolate, chopped
  • 50ml single cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a 28cm x 18cm rectangular cake or tart tin with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan bring the rum and fresh peeled and roasted chestnuts to the simmer; remove from the heat and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler.
  4. Whilst the chocolate is melting separate the eggs, whisk the whites until fluffy and then gradually add the sugar, continuing to whisk until it reaches a soft peak meringue.
  5. Stir the soaked chestnuts, rum and egg yolks into the melted chocolate. Fold in the flour or ground almonds
  6. Fold in the whipped egg whites.
  7. Spoon the cake mixture into the lined tin . Bake the cake for 15 -20 minutes in the pre-heated oven.
  8. Once cooked, remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool completely.
  9. Heat the cream then add the chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth then pour over the cooled cake and smooth across the top of the cake.
12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ooo, LOVE the combination of chocolate and chestnut. I have terrible memories of childhood being made to peel chestnuts though, so now I just get the puree for cake when I’m feeling not so poor.

    April 28, 2011
  2. Bev #

    Looks fantasic and I have just noticed it is GLUTEN FREE!!!

    April 28, 2011
  3. Haven’t seen a better and more beautiful cake in ages! WOW!!

    April 28, 2011
  4. this cake looks so dense and chocolatey and delicious. I must go out and get some chestnuts before they’re all gone!

    April 28, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      Just roasted the last of mine today, soup this week me thinks.

      May 1, 2011
  5. Oh my….that looks like a little slice of decadent chocolate heaven. Maybe you should fore-go the soup & make some more for morning tea next weekend?????? 🙂 Though I am sure the soup would be delicious too!

    April 28, 2011
  6. oh yeah oh yeah! gluten-free! i will love this slice, Alli. looks scrumptious!

    May 1, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      It’s very rich so if you don’t eat it as quickly as we did keep it in the fridge!

      May 1, 2011
  7. You’ve just given me a humungous chocolate craving!!! That pic is soooo gorgeous and sensational!! love it

    May 3, 2011
  8. WOW…what a beautoful, chocolate – chestnut slice. I have several packs of vaccuum pack chestnuts I need to use, not to mention marron glaces *a little extra decor maybe). I could do this, although I doubt it will turn out nearly as pretty as yours! Great that it’s gluten free, for my friends who are 🙂

    May 3, 2011
  9. Looks lovely…I happen to have a bowlful of foraged chestnuts sitting on the bench awaiting inspiration and it looks like this is it! Any tips for roasting? I have head they can explode…

    May 8, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      Hi Becs, I used a sharp pair os scissors and nipped the point on them, it’s a lot quicker than using a knife. They then just split naturally when heated. I roast them or about 15-20 min on 180c

      May 9, 2011

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