Chestnut and clementine cake with chocolate orange icing

Big thanks again to Holly for putting together this delicious recipe. Apologies that we didn’t have one for you in December but we figured you would have plenty of recipes on the go anyway! To find more of Holly’s seasonal recipes click here.

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Happy New Year and what better way to start the new year than with a cake? Although chestnuts are more associated with Christmas you should still be able to find some kicking around. I find that the seasonal clementine brings a lovely citrus note to this cake which makes it feel a bit lighter, although you could of course use oranges instead. This makes slightly too much chestnut puree but you could always use it in other things, such as sandwiches, sauces, soups (especially mushroom) or alternatively add more to your chestnut and cream filling.

For the cake:

4 egg whites

4 eggs

200g caster sugar

150g butter

100g plain flour

170g ground almonds

zest of 3 clementines

For the chestnut puree:

180g cooked and peeled chestnuts

50g sugar

100ml water

½ tsp vanilla essence

For the filling:

200g chestnut puree

150ml of cream

For the icing:

150g orange chocolate

150ml cream

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  1. Heat the oven to 180OC then grease and line the base of three 20 cm cake tins with baking paper.
  2. To make the cake start by beating the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Combine the almonds and flour in a separate bowl. Then slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture along with a little bit of the flour and almonds. Once the eggs have been incorporated add the clementine zest and juice and fold in the remaining flour and almonds.
  3. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Then, add a third of the beaten egg whites to the rest of the cake mix and gently fold in. Once combined fold in the remaining two-thirds of the egg white, making sure not to beat out any of the air.
  4. Carefully divide the batter between the 3 cake tins and then cook in the oven for around 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the top of the cakes are a pale golden colour. Leave to cool.
  5. While the cakes are cooking you can start making the chestnut puree. Place the chestnuts, sugar and water into a pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer the mixture until the chestnuts are tender and the liquid is reduced, around 30 minutes. I then used a masher to reduce the mixture to a paste, adding more water to make sure it wasn’t too thick, but you could just as easily use a blender. Once in a thick paste take 200g of the chestnut puree and combine with 2 tablespoons of the cream. Softly whip the remaining cream and then fold this into the chestnut mixture.
  6. Finally make the chocolate topping. Place the cream and chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave the chocolate to melt and stir gently to combine. Remove from heat and leave to cool until a spreadable consistency.
  7. To assemble your cake spread a layer of chestnut filling between the first and second layer and the same between the second and third. Then spread the chocolate mixture on the top and sides or just on top if you wish.

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