Saturday, 26 October 2013

Delicious Chestnut Loaf Cake


Cake is topped with chestnuts and small gold pieces
I decided that I needed to learn how to cook chestnuts since finding good cooked ones can be difficult
not to mention expensive.

As with many cooking techniques, there is more than one way to achieve the same result. I will explain my process but please feel free to check out options as well such as this one.

Preparing the chestnuts

I used about 30 whole chestnuts. First I peeled the outer shell using a pantry knife to knick the skin lightly then peeled it off. Usually the skin comes off fairly easily.
Outside shell has been removed

Put 6 cups of water plus 15 grams of baking soda into a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the chestnuts and reduce the heat so that it is not boiling. Cook for 15 minutes. Strain the chestnuts from the water and dump the water. Add another 6 cups water plus 10 grams baking soda to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the chestnuts  and reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. Repeat one more time. The water that the chestnuts is cooked in becomes very dark so be sure not to wear white.

After the last batch of heating the chestnuts, strain the water again. Use the rough side of a sponge to brush off the rough skin pieces from the chestnuts. Don't scratch too hard since knicks in the chestnut do not look as nice for presentation.

Last step is to lightly cook the chestnuts in 5 cups water, 100 grams sugar and about half cup of dark rum. Bring all of these ingredients to a boil and after you removed the rough skin pieces add the chestnuts to this. Again, reduce the heat to a very low temperature and cook for about 45 minutes. Chestnuts should be able to be kept up to 2 weeks in this liquid if kept in the refrigerator.
Chestnuts in hot water

























Cake
This cake fits a long rectangle pan (23 cm long x 6 cm high x 4 cm deep)

80 grams butter (slightly softened)
175 grams chestnut paste
80 grams powdered sugar (sifted)
65 grams eggs
45 grams almond powder (sifted)
dash of vanilla essence
20 grams flour (sifted together with baking powder)
2 grams baking powder

1. First, prepare the baking pan by lightly buttering and dusting with flour.

2. Use a hand mixer, and mix the chestnut paste then add the butter in a couple of portions and mix together. Add the almond power and mix - then add the powdered sugar & mix. Mix just enough to incorporate the ingredients, do not over mix.

3. Add in the eggs in portions and mix. Add the vanilla. Lastly, add in the flour and baking powder.

Add pieces of chestnut then add
 remaining dough
4. The easiest way to fill the baking pan is to put the dough in a pastry bag and squirt it in evenly in rows. Fill about 1/3 of the pan then add small pieces of chestnuts in a row in the dough then fill the rest of the pan with the remaining dough.

5. Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 50 minutes. Check doness before removing from the oven.

Icing
100 grams powdered sugar (sifted)
15 grams water
10 grams dark rum

1. Mix powdered sugar and water & rum with a small whisk. Brush on the cake.

2. Place in a hot oven (about 190 degrees Celsius) for about 4 minutes just to lightly melt the icing.



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