Chestnut fondant

Holiday time is all about sugar, spice, and everything nice.  It  conjures up all sorts of cozy images and makes me crave many kinds of foods, like chestnuts.  It's one of my favorite things and this is the time of year when fresh chestnuts pop up at the grocery stores.  I love eating good fresh chestnuts, and I also adore chestnut flavored desserts.  My love of chestnut desserts has been pretty well documented here but I'm always on the lookout for more.
So I'm back with yet another chestnut dessert, a little treat I shared with my husband recently.  It was a very simple chestnut fondant - the French style of cake that is nearly flourless, usually quite rich and moist.  The recipe comes from Paris Chez Sharon; I have seen her post the chestnut fondants from the Parisian market, Marché Maubert, on her Instagram account and drooled over them for a long time so I was thrilled when she shared her recipe for it over at her blog.  
And chestnut cream (or chestnut spread) is again our direct path to a simple chestnut dessert.  Think of this mini fondant loaf cake as mostly chestnut cream, enhanced with a smidgen of dark chocolate, a dab of butter, some egg yolks, and held together with just a spoonful of flour.  This fondant is similar to a flourless chocolate-chestnut cream cake I've made before; I'd say this fondant really lets the chestnut dominate, and I love it all the more for it. 
Because there are lots of Christmas cookies and treats to be devoured this month, I made a "baby" loaf (half the original recipe) in a paper loaf pan about 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch in size.  The mini loaf is perfect for my husband and I to tuck into and share as an after-dinner treat for a couple of nights.  This way, I also have leftover chestnut cream to use for a host of other delicious purposes (like in financiers slated this weekend).  

With so much deep chestnut flavor, a small wedge (or two) is really satisfying.  I love the depth of sweet, nutty, chestnut flavor.  The fondant is super moist, a little chewy, and every little compact bite is a wonderful seasonal gift to the chestnut lover.  I am so happy to discover this recipe!

The star ingredient for this chestnut dessert is, again, chestnut cream or "chestnut spread".  I highly recommend the one made by Clement Faugier, as shown below.  This was the last can in my pantry and I'll have to restock soon; luckily, it's available via amazon.
The star ingredient that provides the flavor, sweetness, and moisture to the cake; incidentally, the fresh chestnuts were my lunch for the day.
Ingredient proportions are small since I'm making half the recipe, filling the batter into a 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" paper loaf pan.  The handful of ingredients are simply stirred together.  I added one and a half egg yolks and about a tablespoon of flour into the chestnut cream.  On the side, I melted about a tablespoon of butter with less than an ounce of dark chocolate (I used 70% cacao) and a pinch of salt.

Stir together and you have the batter for this little chestnut fondant.  It's a joy to make simple, delicious, things like this during the busy holiday season.

My mini loaf took about 35 minutes or so to bake.  It's done when the cake is set but still looks soft.  A cake tester inserted into the cake should come out dry, not wet with crumbs attached to it.  
I thought the cake absolutely delicious on its own so I could savor the sweet chestnut flavor.  While the cake is plenty sweet and flavorful, it's not at all overly sweet.  I just love the intense chestnut flavor in this confectionery form!  

Recipe:

Chestnut Fondant 
Adapted from Paris Chez Sharon

- For one mini 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf (half of original recipe) -

15 grams unsalted butter
20 grams dark chocolate (at least 64% cacao; I used 70% Scharffen Berger)
Small pinch of fleur del sel or other flaky sea salt
240 grams chestnut spread
1 1/2 egg yolks (I simply separate 2 yolks and spoon out half of the second one) 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, I added for an extra boost of vanilla; you could even add a touch of rum)
10 grams all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 338 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees Celsius).  If using a mini disposable paper loaf pan like I did, simply set it on top of a small baking sheet.  Otherwise, grease your loaf pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.  

Place butter, chocolate, and salt into a small microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave, on half-power, until just melted, stirring frequently. 

In a bowl, combine the chestnut spread, egg yolks, and flour.  Add the melted butter and chocolate mixture and stir together until well combined.  

Spread batter evenly into the loaf pan.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until cake is set but still soft.  A cake tester inserted into the cake should come out dry.  When testing, if batter is still wet with moist crumbs attached to the tester, return it to the oven for a few more minutes.  

Let cool before slicing and serving.  I like the cake as is but you could serve it with a touch of softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  




5 comments:

  1. Have never tried chestnut this way...it surely looks very tempting!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum! I just baked this, and it smells really good! Can't wait to try it once it cools. BTW, do you have an Instagram account? I wanna tag you when I post a photo of my cake 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you enjoyed it, thank you.

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    2. It was delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe 😄

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