Sunday, 23 November 2014

Chocolate and chestnut tart – happy birthday to me!


It was some time ago that I ate the “best cake ever” (in my opinion).  It was a ‘maronischnitte’ from Café Sacher in Salzburg; a creamy chestnut delight.  My thoughts turned to it recently and I decided to take elements of it for my birthday cake…or birthday tart as it became.

Last weekend Mr CC and I had a spiritual experience: we visited Whole Foods on Kensington High Street.  Never before have we so wanted to dislike a shop yet fallen in love with it so quickly.  I was convinced it would be overpriced hydroponic mung beans being sold to yummy mummies but it wasn’t; it was glorious.  I could’ve spent a grotesque amount of money but limited myself to what I could hold in my hands, which turned out to be a pot of couverture chocolate, a pot of red onion and horseradish stuffing, and three bars of chocolate.  Not to be used in the same dish, I’m sure you’ll appreciate.

I used my couverture in the making of the ganache.  Apart from the pebble shaped pieces looking professional in the pan I didn’t honestly notice much difference in the way it handled. It may have melted a bit quicker, and for milk chocolate had a very strong rich cocoa taste but nothing really stood out as different.

For the chestnut element I used a tin of Clement Faugier chestnut spread as it was sweet and had vanilla added to it.  Ok, and I love the tin it comes in.  The tin has a lot of ribbing to it and a really busy, vintage-y design; I particularly love the fuzzy looking chestnuts.

A biscuit base (I wasn’t in the mood for pastry), chocolate ganache, sweet chestnuts and lashings of whipped cream.  Happy birthday to me!


For the biscuit base:
200g biscuits – hobnobs, digestives or shortbreads will all work
100g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup or honey
For the ganache:
200ml whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g milk chocolate – or dark if you prefer

For the topping:
250g sweetened chestnut puree
300ml whipping cream

To decorate: chocolate flake


Place the biscuits, butter and golden syrup in a food processor and blitz until you have moist crumbs.  If you don’t have a food processor, place the biscuits in a bag and beat to crumbs with a rolling pin.  Then put in a bowl and add the butter (melted) and golden syrup.
Press the crumbs into a 23cm round loose bottomed tart tin (I used a disposable foil tin as we’re in the process of packing up the house for moving – it did make it harder to get out, so use a loose bottomed tin if you can).  Alternatively, you could use a 36cm x 12cm rectangular loose bottomed tart tin.
Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Now make the filling: Place the cream in a saucepan and add the vanilla.
Bring the cream to up to boiling point, without actually letting it boil, and then remove from the heat.
Break up the chocolate and add to the cream.
Let it stand for a couple of minutes before going in with your whisk and ensuring that the cream and chocolate are fully combined.
Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes.  Whisk occasionally to thicken up the ganache.
Remove the tart base from the fridge and pour the ganache into it.
Return to the fridge and leave to firm up – once it is firm, wrap it in clingfilm (if you try and do this straightaway you will get a mess and the clingfilm won’t pull away easily).
Spread the chestnut puree over the ganache.
Whip the cream and pipe over the chestnut layer.
Finish with some flaked chocolate.
Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before you wish to serve.
Serve in slices.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Tyana said...

Happy Birthday!

And thanks for all your wonderful recipes. Have been following your blog for quite a long time, and looking forward for more mouthwatering cakes and bakes from you.


Lisa Shannon said...

Happy Birthday CC!!

It looks wonderful and very festive too xxx

Choclette Blogger said...

Ooh love it, a tart instead of a cake and such a lush tart too. I want one. Oh, and Happy Birthday to you.

Dipika said...

Happy birthday! What a lovely way to celebrate!

Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

Happy Birthday! This looks really lovely. :)

Baking Addict said...

Happy Birthday CC! This looks like a brilliant tart to celebrate -I love the chocolate and chestnut combination. I always like going to whole foods but I rarely get to go nowadays.

Katie said...

This looks fabulous! I adore anything chestnut too, such a delicious unique flavour. I know what you mean about wholefoods, I can spend hours in there wandering around and looking at everything.
Happy belated birthday!

MonuTeena RecipesPassion said...

HAppy birthday dear :) Bless you plus tart is absolutely so gorgeous n perfectly clicked

Jean said...

Happy birthday from me too.
Your "cake" looks delicious - a perfect birthday treat!

Cakelaw said...

Happy birthday! This tart looks absolutely wonderful - I would love to have a slice.

Hettie said...

This looks divine and what a wonderful Birthday Cake! Happy Birthday.
I will be round later for some cake!

Snowy said...

Happy Birthday, and what a great way to celebrate it with this delicious looking tart.

Linda said...

Happy birthday! It looks divine!

Jessica Holmes said...

Oh that rich, gooey, fudgy chocolate ganache - I can't get enough!!! Perfect way to celebrate your birthday.

Maggie said...

Happy Birthday CC.
I have visited Wholefoods in Kensington but because of travelling home it has thankfully limited my purchases!!!
The tart looks overwhelmingly scrumptious.

Stuart Vettese said...

Happy birthday CC!

Firstly, I love Whole Foods on Kensington High Street. I could spend ours in there.

And I have a tin of those chestnuts languishing in my cupboard and you have inspired me to whip them out this festive season. The tart looks lovely :)

Sally Sellwood said...

I think this is a perfect birthday cake/tart I may well adopt it for my own in April. Happy Birthday to you.

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

Divine!!!! That chestnut spread sounds amazing and the tart looks to die for. Happy Birthday!!!! Definitely a tart to celebrate with.....

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Happy (belated) birthday! And what a magnificent cake to celebrate with...

Jo said...

Happy belated Birthday CC! Love the indulgent tart you've made - ganache is definitely the way to celebrate.