November 27, 2021

Chinese bakery style chestnut sponge cake

This time of year has me thinking of chestnuts more than ever.  Fresh chestnuts as well as jarred and vacuum-packed versions pop up at supermarkets and specialty stores, conjuring up images of chestnuts roasting on an open fire and special chestnut desserts for the holidays.

Chestnuts are one of my favorite things. My love for them is pretty well documented here (type in "chestnuts" in the search bar) and I'd like to add another chestnut dessert to the roster today.  This time, I'm exploring a rendition of the classic chestnut sponge cake you'd find at a Chinese bakery.

I am a bonafide chocolate lover but when my birthday rolls around, I find myself picking this chestnut cake as my birthday cake.  You can buy one at a Chinese bakery and you'll find them in this identical form across Chinese bakeries - 2 layers of light as air sponge cake (chiffon cake, specifically) between a delicious chestnut paste filling, wrapped around smooth, lightly-sweetened, whipped cream.  This cake is probably where my love of chestnut first originated.  We go way back and we've celebrated many a birthday together.  

So it was with great excitement that I finally attempted to make this cake at home recently.  I knew it would be impossible to replicate the exact thing from the bakery but I am happy to say this came pretty close.  The chiffon cake layers were a tad denser than they should be but the chestnut paste filling was rather spot on!  Next time, I'd make a couple of tweaks - including using lighter cake flour for the cake layers - but this is something this chestnut-lover sees herself making again.  


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