200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids minimum)
pinch sea salt
415g tin chestnut puree
handful of fresh raspberries or seasonal berries, to decorate
FOR THE FROSTING
400ml tin coconut milk, cold
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp cacao powder
23cm springform cake tin
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Chestnut Chocolate Cloud Cake
The first person to try out this cake, a lovely American friend of mine said, ‘Holy moly, I would make this for the Queen.’ I figured it needed to be included in the book even if the Queen never got any. The Italian in me always wants to incorporate a little of their flavours into my kitchen, but their desserts can be quite alcohol-drenched and overly sweet for me – ice creams aside, of course. So here I thought about using that very Tuscan ingredient, chestnut, which sets off the flavour of the chocolate so well. This is a dense, fudgy, chocolate joy of a cake with the goodness of chestnuts too. It’s pretty special.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Line a 23cm springform cake tin with baking paper. Place the chocolate, butter and sea salt in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water (making sure the bowl isn’t touching the water). Allow to melt gently, then remove from the heat.
Place the chestnut purée into your food processor and add the eggs and honey. Blitz to form a smooth purée. Tip this mixture into the melted chocolate and combine. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35–40 minutes, until the cake looks glossy and with only a slight crack on top.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. Remove the coconut milk from the fridge and pour the watery liquid into a small jar to use for smoothies or sauces at a later date. Scrape the thick white solids into a bowl along with the maple syrup and cacao powder. Use an electric whisk to beat the mixture until light and billowy. Leave in the fridge to firm up.
Once the cake has cooled completely, spread the frosting in an even layer over the top and stud with fresh raspberries, or seasonal berries.