As for me, as a protest I borrowed Stel of Baby Rambutan's recipe and pictures with her permission - that is in bold letters. A few posts back, another food blogging friend gave me some yummy ingredients from her sojourn in France. That's why I ended up with chestnut puree/cream in my cupboard. I so love this confection and Stel's previous baking posts saved me from digging up recipes for it. You have to understand why I was so ecstatic with the results of my baking - it's the first time in about 15+ years that I baked a meringue-based cake! The last time it came out so hard even our dog won't eat it. :) But this time, hah! it was oh so springy and soft and well risen - and no raising agents at that - only the beaten egg whites. Wheee! I was so happy I did the dance of joy ... 'One for the money and the free rides. It's two for the lie that you denied. All rise (all rise)'. LOL!
According to Stel this recipe of hers, which I adapted, was in fact adapted also (2x times adapted will that make it original? Asa pa ako!) from The French Cookie Book by Bruce Healy with Paul Bugat. I did not use cream of tartar, it was already too late when I realised my pot was already expired. But even without it the egg whites peaked marvellously. Then I used half milk and half dark chocolates because I could imagine my kids not touching this with a ten-foot pole if they know it's plain dark chocolate. Lastly, I spread the choc topping while the cake is still in the baking pan. Why? So as not to waste the chocolate dripping needlessly by its sides. Well yes, I would surely scrape the drippings and eat them but it's nice to know they all ended up in the cake.
picture courtesy of Baby Rambutan
[heaping 1/3 cup + 2 tsp] caster sugar (superfine)
2 large eggs - separated and at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
250 g [heaping 3/4 cup] chestnut cream (creme de marrons)
1/4 cup unsalted butter - melted
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
45 g [1/3 cup + 2 tsp] plain flour
200 g dark cooking chocolate (70% chocolate content) OR combination of dark and milk chocolates
1 tsp almond oil or neutral vegetable oil (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 425°F/220°C/fan 200°C.
- Butter and flour well a 9-inch square baking pan.
- Set aside 2 1/2 tsp of the sugar.
- In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until light, thick and smooth.
- Add in the chestnut cream, followed by the butter. Mix well.
- Get another bowl and whip the egg whites with an electric mixer (make sure the beaters and bowl are clean and dry) on low speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar at this point if you're using it.
- Increase the speed to medium-high until whites are stiff but not dry.
- Add the reserved sugar and continue beating at high speed for a few seconds to incorporate the sugar.
- Sift the flour over the chestnut-egg yolk mixture and mix with a wooden spatula.
- Add about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into it and fold quickly.
- Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter in the prepared pan, spread evenly and smooth the surface.
- Bake for about 16-20 minutes or until lightly browned and springs back to the touch.
- Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
- Melt the chocolates by placing in a heatproof glass bowl over simmering saucepan of water.
- Pour melted chocolate on the cake, spreading it evenly, letting the excess flow down the sides. You can do this while the cake is still on the rack OR put back the cooled cake in the baking pan then pour the chocolate in the pan. The latter is to avoid wastage of chocolate.
- Cool and let the glaze set.
- Cut into squares and serve.