Flourless chocolate, chestnut & rosemary cake

Flourless chocolate, chestnut & rosemary cake
  • Serves icon Serves 8–10.
  • Time icon Hands-on time 10 minutes, plus 2 hours cooling. Oven time 45 minutes.

We are lucky to be able to share Skye McAlpine’s chocolate and chestnut cake recipe from her new cookbook A Table For Friends: the Art of Cooking for Two or Twenty (around £26, Bloomsbury). It’s made with ground almonds not flour, which makes it gluten-free. It’ll also keep in a tin for a couple of days, meaning you could make it in advance for afternoon tea.

Skye says: “Chocolate cake is often dry and, in spite of its dark, sumptuous appearance, rather disappointing to eat. This, however, chic-ly dusted in a cloud of icing sugar, is the ideal balance of velvety chestnut and rich, fudgey chocolate.”

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
186kcal
Fat
8.0g (1.6g saturated)
Protein
6.9g
Carbohydrates
21.2 (12.2g sugars)
Fibre
0.6g
Salt
0.12g
Calories
186kcal
Fat
8.0g (1.6g saturated)
Protein
6.9g
Carbohydrates
21.2 (12.2g sugars)
Fibre
0.6g
Salt
0.12g

Ingredients

  • Salted butter, softened, for greasing
  • 500g sweetened chestnut purée (available from Amazon; or see tips)
  • 

4 large free-range eggs, separated
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 40g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 
Leaves from 4 rosemary sprigs (see tips), plus extra for the top
  • Icing sugar for dusting

You’ll also need…

    20cm round loose-bottomed cake tin, greased and lined with baking parchment

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/ gas 4.
  2. Pour the chestnut purée into a large mixing bowl. Lightly beat the egg yolks with a fork, then add them to the purée. Pour in the ground almonds, add the cocoa and mix well. Roughly chop the rosemary leaves (see tip), add them to the batter, then stir until well combined.
  3. In a second large clean mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the chocolate mixture (see tip). Pour into the prepared cake tin and sprinkle on a few rosemary sprigs. Bake for 40–45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out. Dust with icing sugar before serving (see tip).

delicious. tips

  1. Use cans of sweetened chestnut purée for ease and convenience. If you can’t find it, feel free to use the unsweetened variety readily available in British supermarkets: use 400g, whisking it lightly with 100g icing sugar, until smooth, before you begin.

    As rosemary sprigs vary so much in size and the herb has such a powerful flavour, we recommend using the leaves from one sprig the first time you make this cake so you can judge how much you like it and decide whether to increase or decrease the amount next time. When folding in the whipped egg whites, we found it easiest to add a large spoonful first to loosen the mixture, followed by the rest. We served the cake slightly warm, with a dollop of clotted cream.

  2. The cake will keep well in an airtight tin for up to two days.

Recipe By

Skye McAlpine’s book, A Table For Friends: the art of cooking for two or twenty, (around £26, Bloomsbury).

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