Prebake week – When you purchase your ingredients decide whether to make your own marrons glacé, purchase or leave them off the top altogether. I found them useful for portion control (!), as well as decoration. You should get 16 slices of cake from this recipe. I enjoyed using the steeping method where you just left the cooked chestnuts in their boiled syrup overnight. Reboil again and leave to dry and, for this cake, I put them on the next day when they had cooled. There are lots of recipes on the net to try; I don’t know why we pay such high prices for these in the UK, have a go, it’s really easy.
8oz (225g) Butter
8oz (225g) Golden caster sugar
4 Large eggs
8oz (225g) Self raising flour
2 tsp Instant coffee dissolved in a tbsp of hot water or
7oz (200g) Cooked chestnuts
For the Icings:
4oz (110g) Chestnut finely ground (3oz – 90g if using tinned
8oz (225g) Icing sugar
Dark Coffee Icing
1oz (25g) Butter
4oz (110g) Icing sugar
2tsp Instant of coffee/or less but go for the stronger
contrast taste dissolved in 2 tsps of hot water
Light Coffee Icing
3oz (90g) Butter
12oz(340g) Icing sugar
1 tsp Coffee essence (or instant coffee dissolved in water.)
Water – add a little at a time to achieve a spreadable consistency
Preheat oven to a moderate temperature 160c/140c Fan/325F/Gas Mark 3. If you find your cakes are browning too quickly turn down another 20 degrees.
Grease 2 sandwich cake tins, if you want to cut the cakes in half, for your four layers or grease four tins and divide mix up accordingly. I like using my false bottom 7 inch cake tins and I add greaseproof paper at the bottom as well.
In a blender (I use a Magimix with a Sabatier blade) chop up the chestnuts into small pieces. Put to one side.
Cream the sugar and butter together, whisk in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour, and then fold in the chestnuts
Divide into two cake sandwich tins or four tins. You can weigh each one to make sure you have the same weight of mixture in each one for even bakes. Place in the centre of the oven. Check after 15-20 minutes. Cook until risen and a skewer comes cleanly out. Allow to cool and make icing.
Take the 3 types of icing ingredients and make each one separately. If you have used two cakes cut them in half and spread the centre with the Chestnut Icing. Put cakes on separate plates. On one of them spread the Dark Coffee Icing and place the other half on top.
Tips: If you have cut into fresh cake you will find it quite crumbly to ice, simply place these in the freezer when cool, for 10 minutes before you want to ice them, helps firm up the outside. For a smoother finish you can use 4 tins.
Now you are ready to coat the whole cake with the Light Coffee Icing. Decorate with marrons glacé or as desired.