Here's a recipe for a rich yet light, flourless chestnut cake that's easy to make - and even easier to eat!
Tarte de Purée des Chataignes
(Chestnut Puree Tart)
1 x 500g can sweetened chestnut purée
5 eggs, separated
Dark chocolate to garnish
Grease and line a large deep 9-inch loose-bottomed cake tin.
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350F.
- Melt the 80g butter in the microwave or on the stove. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Separate the eggs. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks together with the chestnut purée until the mixture becomes light and thick (the goal is to beat as much air into the mixture as possible. Then, a little at a time, beat in the melted butter. Set aside.
- Beat the egg whites to the stiff-peak stage. Then add them to the egg yolk-chestnut purée mixture by spoonfuls and use a spatula to fold the whites carefully in.
- When the oven is ready, pour the batter into the tin and place gently in the oven. Don't bang the oven door, as the mixture at this point is more like a souffle than anything else. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on the browning of the top of the tart: you don't want it too dark. If this starts happening, carefully open and close the oven door to let some heat out: then lower the oven heat slightly and bake for a few minutes longer.
- The tart will puff up considerable while baking. Once removed from the oven, it will start to collapse. Don't panic, as this is normal. While still hot, use a very fine grater (a lemon-zest-size grater works well) to grate bitter baking chocolate over the whole top of the tart. It will melt onto the tart's top. You may want to do several layers of this.
- Allow the tart to cool. (If you like, you might want to drizzle melted chocolate over it.) Slice and serve with thick cream, whipped cream, pouring custard or a good-quality vanilla ice-cream.