I suppose I should have posted this recipe before the end of 2012 as I suspect many of you will be drinking blended kale, spirulina and spinach cleansing drinks this month.
I made it for New Year’s Eve and Le Turinois is a brilliant addition to anyone’s repertoire of special desserts.
This may not look much different from any other flourless chocolate cake but there are a couple of things that set it totally apart; first, the combination of chestnuts and dark chocolate is sublime – and secondly, it doesn’t require any baking.
The ingredients are a bit on the expensive side but the good news is that it’s incredibly easy to make and because it’s rich, a little goes a very long way.
Canned puréed French chestnuts only seem to be available between Thanksgiving and the New Year where I live (rather remotely), so I buy them in the UK where they’re less expensive and available year-round. Over here, any decent supermarket or Wholefoods will have them.
Another plus; this is one of those desserts that will taste better by day 3 or four, so make it in advance. It needs to be serve chilled and it freezes well.
LE TURINOIS (CHOCOLATE CHESTNUT CAKE)
4 oz (114g) of unsalted butter, softened
5 oz (142g) of superfine (caster) sugar
8 oz (227g) of good quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 lb (454g) of unsweetened chestnut purée
½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of espresso (optional)
Slightly sweetened whipped cream with shaved chocolate, praline, silver balls or whatever you like, for decoration
Line a loaf pan with baking parchment and lightly butter it.
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate. Make sure the bottom of the pan doesn’t come into contact with the water. Cool the chocolate for a few minutes then fold into the butter and sugar, along with the chestnut purée, vanilla and espresso (if using). Blend thoroughly until smooth then pour into the prepared pan. Chill for a minimum of 48 hours and up to 4 days.
To serve: while chilled, use a hot knife to slice it thinly and serve it with cream on the side – or, for a really impressive presentation, smother the whole thing in whipped cream and decorate with shaved chocolate or whatever you prefer.
It will still taste great by day 7, if there’s any left.