Chocolate Chestnut Cake

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This wheat-free chocolate cake with the earthy flavor of chestnuts is surprisingly light. The recipe is a slight adaptation from one in Alice Medrich’s baking book “Flavor Flours.” The cake may be baked a day or two in advance of serving.


  • 4

    ounces/115 grams chocolate (64 percent cacao or less)

  • 4

    ounces/113 grams unsalted butter

  • 4

    large eggs, separated

  • ½

    cup/100 grams sugar plus 2 tablespoons for topping

  • teaspoon salt

  • ¼

    teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ½

    cup/55 grams chestnut flour

  • ½

    cup/85 grams chopped cooked chestnuts (use canned or vacuum-packed)

  • 1

    cup heavy cream, for topping

  • Chocolate curls or cocoa powder, for garnish

  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

      403 calories; 29 grams fat; 17 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 8 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 33 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 24 grams sugars; 4 grams protein; 164 milligrams cholesterol; 86 milligrams sodium

    • Note:

      The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl set over boiling water until chocolate is nearly completely melted, then remove from heat and whisk mixture until smooth.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks with half the sugar (1/4 cup/50 grams) and the salt until pale and thick. Stir in the warm chocolate and set aside.
  3. Put egg whites in a clean bowl with cream of tartar and beat until fluffy, then add remaining 1/4 cup/50 grams sugar and beat until whites are stiff but not dry.
  4. Stir chestnut flour and chopped chestnuts into the chocolate batter, then fold in 1/4 of the whites to lighten mixture. Fold in remaining whites and scrape batter into an unbuttered 8-inch springform pan, smoothing top if necessary.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out almost clean. Cool on a rack. It may sink and crack a bit on top — this is fine. Run a knife around the edge of cake to free sides and remove form. Transfer to a serving platter. (Cake may be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.)
  6. To serve, whip cream with 2 tablespoons sugar to a very soft consistency. Spoon over top of cake and quickly spread with a spatula. Sprinkle with chocolate curls or cocoa powder.
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