It's that magical time of year... when the air gets colder, the soft jumpers come out and baking begins in earnest in the Bain-Marie kitchen. I have been dreaming of recreating this childhood Christmas family recipe of mine for years and this year it has happened. Since I was a child my mum has always rustled up what she calls the 20 minute bush.
A Buche à la Crème de Marrons is the most magical and dreamy cake of all and this year it has come to life as an Ode to a Chestnut. Not only is the crème de marrons homemade with delicious whole chestnuts, the sponge is made with gorgeously sweet and nutty chestnut flour (not refined white wheat flour), and this cake is something to write home about. Light, fluffy and oozing a Christmas decadence and rustic simplicity simultaneously.
Happy Buche Making dear friends! If "buching" doesn't take your fancy or may be too ambitious for this year, simply make it as a whole cake round, heart-shaped whatever you like.
Chestnut Sponge Cake
Ideal for a 9" round cake tin or a delightful heart-shaped silicone mould
- 125g (1 cup) organic chestnut flour (I love Shipton Mill)
- 110g (¾ cup) coconut sugar or rapadura
- 90g salted butter, room temperature soft
- 3 organic free range eggs
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2-3 tablespoon plant milk
Homemade Chestnut Cream (Yield: 2 cups)
- 250g whole chestnuts, peeled
- 100g coconut sugar or rapadura
- 100ml fresh filtered water
- Sieve the flour. Add all the ingredients together in a large bowl using an electric whisk them for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is blended and soft.
- Grease a cake tin and pour the cake batter into the tin.
- Place in the oven for 20 minutes. (If you decide to make little cupcakes or madeleines which I highly recommend only bake for 10 minutes) or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Whilst the cake is in the oven, make the chestnut cream by placing the water and sugar in a saucepan and heating until you get a caramel like syrup. Then add the whole chestnuts and cook for a few minutes.
- Finally blend until you obtain a smooth and whipped consistency that should almost look like Nutella.
- Remove cake from the oven.
- Lather chestnut cream generously on cake and devour to your heart's delight!