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This chocolate chestnut cake is deliciously subtle. It has a soft, melting, crumbly texture. The combination of excellent dark chocolate and rich chestnut puree makes this cake a very sophisticated gateau. With a blob of whipped cream and a good coffee, you will be transported to the terrace of a French café. Be sure to use unsweetened chestnut puree, not the sweetened kind or your cake will be way too sweet.

Serves 8 to 10


125 g / 8 tablespoons sweet butter, softened
250 g / 9 oz chocolate, at least 60% cocoa
435 g / 15 oz tin unsweetened chestnut purée
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whisky
6 large eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
175 g / 6 oz caster sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F
Butter and flour a 22 cm / 8 inch springform cake pan
Melt the chocolate using a bain marie (or rest a bowl over a pan of simmering water)
Beat the chestnut purée with the butter until smooth
Add vanilla extract
Add whiskey
Add egg yolks
Stir in melted chocolate
In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until frothy
Gradually add the sugar, do not beat too much or it will get too stiff
Gently fold in the chestnut and chocolate mixture
Pour the mixture into the cake pan
Bake for 45 minutes
Leave to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes
Remove from pan
Dust with powdered sugar
Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream