Like puppies, chestnuts are not just for Christmas: chestnut flour should definitely be in your gluten free pantry. Its sweet, roasted flavour makes it perfect for desserts and cakes while its slight smokiness means that it works just as well in savoury dishes (try using it in your pastry, it's amazing!). I love it because, unlike most ground nuts, it's starchy so you can pretty much switch it out with other gluten free flour with brilliant results.
In the spirit of our Sluttery Pudding Club, I've gone for a chocolate cake this week. To be completely honest, I didn't need much convincing - chocolate is possibly my favourite food group. This is a pudding-y kind of a cake; rich, dense and best served warm with a dollop of whipped cream (or, even better, clotted cream).
- 200g decent plain chocolate
- 125g butter, softened
- 125g caster sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- 150g chestnut flour
- Heat the oven to 180°C
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of just simmering water.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and mix well. Pour in the melted chocolate, stirring constantly, until combined, then fold in the chestnut flour.
- Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks (you can try the bowl-over-your-head trick to test their readiness, but I'm always to scared to try in case I end up with egg on my face, literally).
- Add about a third of the whisked egg whites to the chocolate chestnut mixture and beat to loosen it before gently folding in the remaining egg whites.
- When the whites are completely incorporated into the rest of the batter, cafefully pour into a 20cm cake tin and spread out evenly.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until slightly springy. Leave in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning out.